U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador called out Boise State University President Bob Kustra on Monday after Kustra’s comments condemning Labrador’s response to a fatal attack in Charlottesville, Va.
Labrador made the statements about Kustra during an interview with Nate Shelman on News Talk 670 KBOI. Labrador said he did not want to be “lectured” by Kustra, a white male, and “maybe it’s time for (Kustra) to go.”
Kustra declined to respond to Labrador’s comments, according to a Boise State spokesman.
Labrador’s comments came after Kustra’s State of the University address on Wednesday in which Kustra condemned both President Donald Trump and Labrador for addressing the violence in Charlottesville without immediately condemning Nazis and white nationalism.
Kustra said Wednesday, “Congressman Labrador, for example, decided that he would come out against white nationalism, but he also came out against black nationalism.”
In his interview on News Talk, Labrador made the following statement:
“It’s interesting when you have a 60-something white male from a liberal state trying to tell me, a young Hispanic male, how I should react to racism.
“I thought it was very inappropriate what he did. Maybe it’s time for him to go. It’s time for him to decide that it’s somebody else’s turn. It should be somebody else’s turn to, you know, to lead BSU. I think it was completely inappropriate. I thought my statement was well thought out, well placed, many people enjoyed the statement.
“But if you wanted to take a political position on this, you are gonna attack my statement. If you want to really look at what’s happening in America, you have two groups of people, from both extremes, from the right and the left that are trying to divide this nation. They’re trying to create racial strife throughout the United States. And that racial strife is more evident than ever in his own hometown — in Illinois, in Chicago. So I don’t know what he has to lecture anybody about, but he shouldn’t be lecturing me about this.
“I love Idaho. I love the people of Idaho and I think what some people were trying to do last week is to insinuate in some way that the people of Idaho are racist and that the people of Idaho have ill-intent; and I will ask you, ‘Why is it that the people of Idaho continuously, overwhelmingly vote for a Hispanic congressman to go back to Washington, D.C., and represent them?’ Because they don’t look at that. They don’t look at, you know, what my background is.
“They look at my experience, they look at like I said in my statement, at the content of my character. They don’t look at the color of my skin or whether I have an accent or anything like that. So I really thought it was highly inappropriate and I think it’s pretty shameful that anybody would try to lecture me on dealing with racism when I think I’ve dealt with it my whole life pretty well.
“And I don’t look for … offense. I think a lot of people, unfortunately, are always looking to be offended with different things. And I just think people are people and most people are trying to treat others with dignity. And I think what happened in Charlottesville was so unfortunate, it was so horrible, what happened to, you know, and the violence that happened out there and it needs to stop. We don’t need to keep promoting it. We need figure out how we can actually unite Americans.”