By Jon Dougherty
Legendary NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw inflamed liberals on Sunday for a comment he made on “Meet the Press” regarding immigration that, frankly, is a historic truth the current Millennial generation has never been taught.
Brokaw was part of a panel discussing the subject of immigration and how Americans could be brought together over what has become the most divisive social and cultural issue since slavery.
â€œA lot of this we donâ€™t want to talk about but the fact is on the Republican side, a lot of people see the rise of an extraordinary important new constituency in American politics â€” Hispanics, who will come here and all be Democrats,â€Â Brokaw said.
â€œI hear when I push people a little harder, â€˜I donâ€™t know whether I want brown grand babies.â€™ Thatâ€™s also a part of it. Itâ€™s the intermarriage thatâ€™s going on and the cultures that are conflicting with each other.â€
Brokaw said he also happens to believe that â€œthe Hispanics shouldÂ work harder at assimilation,” he added, according to the New York Post.
â€œThatâ€™s one of the things that Iâ€™ve been saying for a long time, you know, that they ought not to be just codified in their communities but make sure that all of their kids are learning to speak English and that they feel comfortable in the communities,â€ Brokaw added. â€œAnd thatâ€™s going to take outreach on both sides, frankly.â€
Cue the Left-wing outrage machine.
â€œI would just say that we also need to adjust what we think of as America,â€ PBS correspondent Yamiche Alcindor said, condemning Brokaw.
â€œYouâ€™re talking about assimilation. I grew up in Miami, where people speak Spanish, but their kids speak English. And the idea that we think Americans can only speak English, as if Spanish and other languages wasnâ€™t always part of America, is, in some ways, troubling.â€
A century ago, one of our great American presidents — and we know this because we enshrined him on Mount Rushmore — Teddy Roosevelt disagreed vehemently with Alcindor and people of her opinion that immigrants should not concern themselves with assimilating to the country that has allowed them to enter.
In 1907 Roosevelt said:
In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the personâ€™s becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American â€¦
There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isnâ€™t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag â€¦ We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language â€¦ and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.
Later, in 1916 as World War I raged, he noted that assimilation was not only important for the unity and cohesion of the country, but also to make the immigrant a fully-vested citizen in his or her new country, not subject to abuse or mistreatment:
Let us say to the immigrant not that we hope he will learn English, but that he has got to learn it.Â Let the immigrant who does not learn it go back.Â He has got to consider the interest of the United States or he should not stay here.Â He must be made to see that his opportunities in this country depend on his knowing English and observing American standards. The employer cannot be permitted to regard him only as an industrial asset.
And he also knew, instinctively, that the best way to help immigrants succeed was to provide a pathway to help them “rise”:
We must in every way possible encourage the immigrant to rise, help him up, give him a chance to help himself.Â Â If we try to carry him he may well prove not well worth carrying.Â We must in turn insist upon his showing the same standard of fealty to this country and to join us in raising the level of our common American citizenship.
Yes, America is a “diverse” place. But it is also a divided place, thanks in large part to Leftists who insist upon emphasizing our racial and cultural differences rather than follow the path blazed by Roosevelt who insisted on AmericanizingÂ everyone who came here, because cohesion makes us stronger.
Shared traits — like language — unite us. Anyone who is being reasonable knows that’s what Brokaw meant. And some of our greatest leaders believed that too.
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