Labrador on Meet The Press: Criticizes African American Leadership For Being 'Hopeless'


Idaho Republican Congressman Raul Labrador appeared on NBC's Meet the Press this morning, his seventh appearance since first coming to the U.S. House in 2011.

With a backdrop conversation surrounding "The American Dream," on the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream " speech on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., Labrador spoke of his own journey, beginning with his birth in Puerto Rico.

"I was born four years after the March on Washington. I was born to a single mother who lost her job because she was pregnant. But the most important thing she decided was to give me a good life," said Labrador. "She thought the only way I would be successful in life was to gain an education ... and learn English. She told me, 'In private, we can speak Spanish, but when you're in public, speak English.'"

Labrador said he watched archival footage of King's speech three times in the past 24 hours.

"I think we need our leadership to be more hopeful," he said. "[Dr. King] talked about not being bitter. It was a hope. It was a beautiful speech. I think African American leadership needs to start thinking about that hope that Martin Luther King gave us, instead of trying to get the community to think that everything is hopeless and without a future. I think when we tell our young people in America they can't succeed anymore, you will see more and more young people not succeed."