politics

Latino Politicians Sound Off Over Tom Brokaw Saying Latinos Need To Be Better At Assimilating In The US

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The Latino community has been in the headlines regularly since President Trump began his campaign in 2015. Our community is often referenced when people talk about the economy, undocumented immigrants, or the latest tweets from the president himself.

However, whatever the topic is, non-Latinos who are voicing an opinion about the subject should at least understand Latinos thoroughly. The internet is a savage place and things have a tendacy to go viral fast. That is the case for journalist Tom Brokaw who made sweeping generalizations that angered Latinos on this week’s “Meet the Press.”

On Jan. 27, famed journalist, Tom Brokaw, said on national TV that Latinos should “work harder” at assimilation while living in the U.S.

Brokaw, an NBC News special correspondent and former “Nightly News” anchor who’s won countless awards for his work as a journalist, said during “Meet the Press” that he’s been saying for a long time that Latinos should work harder at incorporating themselves into the U.S. especially by speaking English rather than Spanish.

“I also happen to believe that the Hispanics should work harder at assimilation,” the 78-year-old said on the program. “That’s one of the things I’ve been saying for a long time, that they ought not to be just codified in their communities but make sure that all their kids are learning to speak English and that they feel comfortable in the communities.”

Haitian-American journalist and White House correspondent for PBS NewsHour, Yamiche Alcindor, appeared on the same segment along with Brokaw and countered his comments by saying he needs to rethink what the U.S. is today.

“We also need to adjust what we think of as America,” Alcindor said. “You’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 wasn’t always part of America, is, in some ways, troubling.”

Brokaw went even further and described Latino children as “brown grandbabies” and said that Republicans are against “intermarriage” meaning bi-racial relationships.

“A lot of this we don’t want to talk about but the fact is on the Republican side, a lot of people see the rise of an extraordinarily important new constituency in American politics — Hispanics, who will come here and all be Democrats,” Brokaw said. “I hear when I push people a little harder, ‘I don’t know whether I want brown grandbabies.’ That’s also a part of it. It’s the intermarriage that’s going on and the cultures that are conflicting with each other.”

Social media — in particular, Latinos on Twitter such as Joaquin Castro‏ — shot back at Brokaw over his comments.

Joaquin, whose twin brother of Julian Castro who is running for president in 2020, said Brokaw’s comments are xenophobic.

CNN journalist Jim Acosta poked fun at Brokaw for his candid opinion.

It seems Brokaw, who should know facts, never read the Pew Research article that stated that “Latinos increasingly become English dominant by the second generation” and that “by the third generation or higher, Latinos are 75 percent English dominant and 24 percent are bilingual.”

Brokaw is getting schooled on what Latinos in the U.S. are all about.

The National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) went further to denounce Brokaw’s comments saying his assertion that “the U.S. is not the melting pot that the country prides itself on being, is disinformation as the U.S. has always had immigrants and a mixture of races, religious beliefs, and languages in its history. It is these values in fact that makes the country fascinating and has spread the ‘American Dream.'”

“Assimilation is denying one culture for the other,” said Hugo Balta, NAHJ president and Senior Producer at MSNBC (NBC’s cable news network) in a statement. “Hispanics are no less American for embracing their country of origin or that of their ancestors…being bicultural and bilingual is a strength in an increasingly multi-ethnic, multilingual society.”

The Brokaw tried to apologize on Twitter but his apology didn’t help matters.

In a series of tweets, Brokaw’s apology came off as insincere.

“I feel terrible a part of my comments on Hispanics offended some members of that proud culture,” Brokaw tweeted, to which many Latinos found as passive aggressive. He later tweeted: “My twitter acct failed me at the worst time. I am sorry, truly sorry, my comments were offensive to many. the great enduring American tradition of diversity is to be celebrated and cherished. Yamiche, thank u for your comments. let’s go forward together.”

He finished off his bizarre apology by tweeting: “it worked!Ii got your attention. ‘night”


READ: Here’s How The Editor Of The New York Times Crossword Puzzle Tried To Excuse The Use Of The Word ‘Beaner’

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The Green New Deal Is What Everyone In Politics Is Talking About. Here's What It's All About

politics

The Green New Deal Is What Everyone In Politics Is Talking About. Here’s What It’s All About

@BernieBusNYC / Twitter

First, let’s start with the science. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report in December 2018 that revealed that humanity has just under 12 years to redirect the carbon-emitting ship to avoid irrevocable impacts on literally life as we know it. The planet will get hotter, wildfires will dramatically worsen; storms like Hurricane Maria and Michael will become the new norm; our government will spend billions on natural disaster relief. There will be no turning back.

Climate change may not be an urgent issue for senior citizens, who will likely depart from this planet without experiencing the tragedies passed onto our generation. Foremost freshman Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (or AOC, as she’s lovingly dubbed), is taking over the ship with legislation called “The Green New Deal.” Here’s what you need to know about the policies she is proposing.

While Ocasio-Cortez ran on climate change issues, she stepped up to the job well before she started getting paid for it.

CREDIT: @sunrisemvmt / Twitter

After Democrats reclaimed the House majority, 200 activists from “Sunrise Movement” took the opportunity to make an early bid on the 2020 Democratic agenda. Ocasio-Cortez was here for it and told the activists that she was “proud of every single one of you.”

The protest outside Nancy Pelosi’s office was a risky political move for Ocasio-Cortez.

CREDIT: @MrTravoli / Twitter

Pelosi the Speaker of the House again, and the youth activists wanted to ensure that Democrats had a plan to combat climate change. Climate change action has not been a top priority for establishment Democrats and members like Ocasio-Cortez hope to change that.

Ocasio-Cortez proposed the boldest yet select committee to combat carbon emissions.

CREDIT: @AOC / Twitter

One of the most obvious components of her proposal is to elect members who receive zero dollars from the fossil fuel industry. It makes sense because oil companies have been fighting policies that would reverse climate change because it would impede their businesses.

Folks thought it would take Ocasio-Cortez a full year to gain support for the committee, but she got it within weeks.

CREDIT: @sunrisemvmnt / Twitter

Backed by youth-led organizations, Sunrise Movement and Justice Democrats, constituents were excited at the prospect of a serious committee devoted to the Green New Deal change. Pelosi gave everyone the cold shoulder by essentially reorganizing the 2007-2011 “Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.”

Pelosi’s committee has not committed to rejecting donation dollars from fossil fuel companies and lobbyists.

CREDIT: @aier / Twitter

Ocasio-Cortez’s response to Pelosi’s clear rebuke was this: “Our ultimate end goal isn’t a Select Committee. Our goal is to treat Climate Change like the serious, existential threat it is by drafting an ambitious solution on the scale necessary – aka a Green New Deal – to get it done. A weak committee misses the point & endangers people.”

It’s not enough. El gente want the Green New Deal and they want it now.

CREDIT: @AOC / Twitter

We’re all talking about it, including every single big name in politics, from Cory Booker to Al Gore.

Let’s deep dive into the history, expectations, and setbacks we’ve seen thus far in the Green New Deal.

The title is reminiscent of President Franklin Roosevelt’s “New Deal” of the 1930s.

CREDIT: @nicholas1932 / Twitter

Latent in the mere history of the name, we can reimagine a future of thousands of federal jobs built off the renewable energy industry, much like Americans during the Great Depression benefitted from the jobs that Roosevelt created by this sweeping social and economic reform bill.

This addresses the climate crisis, yes, while also seeking to create jobs and eradicate poverty.

Ocasio-Cortez isn’t the first to coin this term.

CREDIT: @BernieSanders / Twitter

The term “Green New Deal” has been around for decades, with Green Party elites like Jill Stein and Democratic progressives like Bernie Sanders using the term to reference an ideology. Ocasio-Cortez is the one with the power to make it real.

Embedded in the Green New Deal is a reinstitution of 70 percent marginal, progressive tax rates to help pay for the transition to a renewable economy.

CREDIT: @calebmaupin / Twitter

Of course, FOX News and conservative think tanks have called this “radical.” In reality, there is a long history of high marginal tax rates on the super wealthy in the U.S.

Basically, the multi-millionaires and billionaires can keep their first $10 million, and be taxed 70 percent on the rest.

CREDIT: @AIDSPOL / Twitter

If we look further back in history, President Eisenhower taxed individuals who were making $200,000 or more 91 percent. The GOP has been slashing tax cuts for the wealthy ever since and decrying the existence of public services like welfare or food stamps.

We agree that if someone can have a private Uber helipad, that mothers working 80 hours a week should be able to feed her kids. Those two scenarios can exist in the same city.

So how does it work?

CREDIT: @CJAOurPower / Twitter

Ocasio-Cortez has already written a proposed scope for the GND, and she’s actually published the link to her Google Doc. I love millennials.

The Green New Deal must plan to 100 percent decarbonize the federal economy.

CREDIT: @NYSDEC / Twitter

Ocasio-Cortez is calling for 100 percent renewable electricity powering our government within ten years. That’s not a ban on fossil fuels; its divestment of the American federal government from the fossil fuel industry, which is tanking our hopes of a long, sustainable future.

It’s a big ask, and while it seems unlikely given the current political atmosphere of climate change deniers leading the country, it’s a goal worth aspiring to.

There must be federal jobs guaranteed.

CREDIT: @CNN / Twitter

Overhauling government buildings to become zero-carbon edifices (buildings produce 40 percent of US carbon emissions) alone is going to cost hundreds of millions of dollars. Where will the money go? To jobs for the lower and middle class. Construction; engineering; policy experts will all be bolstered by this undertaking.

Unlike the original New Deal, the Green New Deal must be equitable and just for all.

CREDIT: @CNN / Twitter

There must be protections for those hardest hit by a shift in economy standards. Ocasio-Cortez’s own document references “low-income communities, communities of color, indigenous communities, [and] the front-line communities most affected by climate change, pollution, and other environmental harm.”

That means environmental justice for those in Flint, Puerto Rico, and so many other communities disproportionately impacted by environmental injustices.

Just last week, a letter signed by 626 organizations in support of the Green New Deal was sent to Congress members.

CREDIT: @aier / Twitter

Look, it’s not like we’re pioneers here. Countries like Finland (think: cold, lots of heating) already produce two-thirds of their electricity from renewable sources. Si se puede.

One poll shows that 82 percent of Americans have heard “nothing at all” about the Green New Deal.

CREDIT: @CongressEva / Twitter

The poll was administered online to 966 registered voters who were not given any information about partisan support. The polling came from Data for Progress between Nov. 28 – Dec 11.

The same bipartisan poll found that the Green New Deal has  81 percent of the public’s support.

CREDIT: @Liat_RO / Twitter

It had 92 percent support from Democrats and 64 percent support from Republicans and 88 percent support from Independents. Yale experts are continuing the narrative from a bipartisan perspective to avoid divisive polarity over an issue that most Americans agree on (once explained to them).

“We’re going to need sustained mass protest, extended labor shutdowns, and general strikes to begin as soon as possible after Election Day 2020.”

CREDIT: @detroitdsa / Twitter

Here’s the thing. We’re all for this, but when this legislation is passed to the Senate, it’ll head up against the energy and Natural Resources Committee run by West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin. He shot down a climate bill that did next to nothing compared to the Green New Deal.

Then it would have to be signed by President Trump.

CREDIT: @Complex / Twitter

Inevitably, we won’t see this bill reach the oval office until at least January 2021. All eyes will be on the 2020 election as we move closer and closer to an irreverible climate catastrophe.

With the Pentagon just declaring climate change as a national crisis, we’re hopping on the Ocasio-Cortez Green New Deal train.

CREDIT: @BernieBusNYC / Twitter

She may be our only saving grace. Call your Reps and let them know what you think about the proposed Green New Deal.


READ: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is Unapologetically Bringing Puerto Rico To The Halls Of Congress

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