Liberal NBC News icon Tom Brokaw told a truth about Hispanic immigration on Sunday but when critics hammered him on social media, he backed down and apologized—not once but twice.

Brokaw went unchallenged when he said some pretty stupid stuff suggesting that Americans are largely racist towards brown-skinned people. But when the 78-year-old said Hispanics in America need to do better at assimilating if they want to be successful, he got annihilated.

“Hispanics should work harder at assimilation. That’s one of the things I’ve been saying for a long time," Brokaw said on Meet the Press. "You know, 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. And that’s going to take outreach on both sides, frankly.”

Boom! Twitter tweeters nail him.

Until fairly recently, assimilation was a key objective of those who chose to come here. That no longer appears to be the case for many or to those who so roasted Brokaw for even suggesting it.

Brokaw spoke the truth. He was labeled a bigot and a racist for his remarks that not so long ago would be accepted as simple common sense. That shows just where we are in this country at this time.

What is truly sad is that when pushed, Brokaw backed down and apologized to those whose skin is too thin to handle the truth and an opinion that might not jibe with their view of things. They marginalized and silenced him.

Too bad Tom didn't have the guts to defend the truth—and himself.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.