Latinx Humanists Call for Action after Tom Brokaw’s Racist Comments
For Immediate Release
Luciano Joshua Gonzalez-Vega, (202) 238-9088, firstname.lastname@example.org
(Washington D.C., January 29th 2019) – The Latinx Humanist Alliance (LHA), an affiliate of the American Humanist Association (AHA), joins the chorus of Latinx and Hispanic advocacy groups condemning broadcaster Tom Brokaw for his unacceptable comments regarding Hispanic and Latinx assimilation in the United States. In addition, the LHA demands that NBC and other newsrooms diversify their staff and panelists in order to prevent continued, systemic racism and oppression.
On Sunday, January 27th, NBC’s Meet The Press hosted a panel consisting of Tom Brokaw, NBC News senior correspondent, Yamiche Alcindor, White House correspondent for PBS NewsHour, Hugh Hewitt of the Salem Radio Network, and Kristen Welker, NBC White House correspondent. During the final minutes of the program, Brokaw noted that “Hispanics should work harder at assimilation” and that they ought to “make sure that all their kids are learning to speak English, and that they feel comfortable in the communities”.
“This demonstrates the importance and relevance of representation in news rooms and the urgency with which this lack of representation must be addressed,” notes Jessica Xiomara Garcia, Leadership Council member of the Latinx Humanist Alliance. “Tom Brokaw’s statements reflect his ignorance of the struggles and accomplishments of the Latinx community in the United States. We at the Latinx Humanist Alliance are committed to helping people learn more about our community to ensure that this sort of ignorance becomes increasingly rare.”
Brokaw’s inaccurate comments come despite the fact that, for generations, there have been aggressive efforts by both educators and parents of Latinx children to ensure more and more of the next generation are English speakers. More than 80% of Latinx students aged 5-17 are proficient in English. This speculation and ignorance could have been avoided had Brokaw done a simple Google search. His comments are indicative of the xenophobia at play when immigration is only seen as valuable if immigrants “assimilate” and speak English. English is no more American than other languages.
“Tom Brokaw’s Twitter apology was shallow and failed to acknowledge the inappropriate content and inherent racism of his remarks, instead it merely apologized for offending people,” says Luciano Gonzalez, co-chair of the Latinx Humanist Alliance. “At no point does he acknowledge that any part of his statements were factually incorrect and unsupported by data.”
The Latinx Humanist Alliance’s mission is to facilitate social justice activism among, expand the visibility of, and foster safe spaces for Latinx Humanists.
The American Humanist Association (AHA) works to protect the rights of humanists, atheists, and other nontheistic Americans. The AHA advances the ethical and life-affirming worldview of humanism, which—without beliefs in gods or other supernatural forces—encourages individuals to live informed and meaningful lives that aspire to the greater good of humanity.