So Tom Brokaw thinks Hispanics should assimilate, learn English and become more comfortable in their communities. But marrying Rebulican, likely white Americans, is a conflict. This is my perspective of Brokaw’s telling comments on Sunday’s Meet the Press on NBC. The aging anchor noted that when, as he put it, he “push(es) people a little hard,” they admit their reluctance to have “brown grandbabies.” The author of “The Greatest Generation” then refers to intercultural marriage as cultures “conflicting with each other.” The longtime NBC news journalist showed his true colors, excuse the pun. And they were white as sheets, pun intended.
Yes, assimilation should be a goal for success in a new country, land, community, etc. However, Brokaw’s continued comments about people, namely Republicans, not wanting “brown grandbabies,” was way out of line. Of course, he’s only reporting what he claims he is hearing from the people whom he interviews. And yes, racism is alive and well in this country, but Brokaw’s comments were both offensive and disappointing. Sadly, they did not surprise. His background, age, or whatever reason for the comment is no excuse. Now, I admit I’m being a bit petty and personal, but maybe he’s distracted by the sexual misconduct allegations against him or feels he needs to shock and make news as he reaches the end of his career.
Now what do Los Texmaniacs have to do with this Tom Brokaw debacle? Well, I was listening to their Grammy-nominated album, “Cruzando Borders,” this morning, which speaks to living with Mexican roots and American loyalties, and I wondered how enraged Brokaw would be by the mixed Spanish and English lyrics, song titles and the album title, alone. He would not get past the album title, I’m sure, but if he did, he would definitely react negatively to the musical celebration and cultural collaboration Los Texmaniacs bring on this album with guest musicans, including Lyle Lovett, who appears on the emotional but blunt and honest, “Deportee.” The track, “Mexico Americano (Mexican American),” is my personal favorite because although my Spanish is far from perfect, I can relate as my Mexican-born great-grandparents tough decisions made it so that I can call myself an American. I thank them for that and honor them through keeping my Mexican-American culture alive in ways like music such as Los Texmaniacs so expertly craft.
But beyond Brokaw’s reaction to Los Texmaniacs and much more importantly to me, the album, “Cruzando Borders,” is up for what would be the group’s second Grammy at the 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019, which will air on CBS. The album competes in a category in the Latin music genre and specifically, Category 43-Best Regional Mexican Music Album (Including Tejano), which the Recording Academy defines as: “For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new regional Mexican (banda, norteño, corridos, gruperos, mariachi, ranchera and Tejano) recordings.”
Los Texmaniacs face formidable artists who are just as proud of their heritage and the competition includes the likes of legendary crooner and proud Mejicano, Luis Miguel and his album: “Mexico Por Siempre.” In fact, cultural pride seems the theme in this category with the following nominees/albums up for this GRAMMY Award:
- PRIMERO SOY MEXICANA
- MITAD Y MITAD
- TOTALMENTE JUAN GABRIEL VOL. II
- CRUZANDO BORDERS
- LEYENDAS DE MI PUEBLO
Mariachi Sol De Mexico De Jose Hernandez
- ¡MÉXICO POR SIEMPRE!
Read my entertainment blog, TejanoBeat.com, for more about the GRAMMYS and Los Texmaniacs Grammy nom.