The chances of Democrats picking up a Republican-held congressional seat in New Jersey just increased yesterday after a video was released with the GOP candidate making several derogatory comments about race.
The candidate is RepublicanÂ Seth Grossman, who last week won a surprise victory in the primary in New Jersey’s 2nd Congressional District.
The district is currently represented by 70 year old Republican Frank LoBiondo who announced last year he would not be running for reelection in 2018. Â It is considered a district that is likely to “flip” to the Democrats if there is a “blue wave” election in November’s midterms.
The story was first reported in the Philadelphia Inquirer.Â The 2nd district is in southern New Jersey and is considered part of the Philadelphia suburbs.
According to the Inquirer, the video was recorded by the liberal activist group American Bridge Political Action Committee. It captured Grossman saying, “The whole idea of diversity is a bunch of crap and un-American.”Â It was recorded at a Republican primary campaign event in April.
Here’s the full quote from Grossman, as recorded in the video:
“Now what diversity has become, it’s been an excuse by Democrats, communists, and socialists, basically, to say that we’re not all created equal; that some people, if somebody is lesser qualified, they will get a job anyway or they’ll get into college anyway because of the tribe that they’re with, what group, what box they fit into.”
After being shown a copy of the video, Grossman said he still stands by hisÂ remarks.
“I said it,” the candidate admitted. “IÂ believe in America that each individual should be judged on nothing but his or her talent, character, and hard work. I’m rejecting the whole premise of diversity as a virtue.”
Grossman’s comments likely helped him win the Republican nomination for U.S. Representative in that district, but it is doubtful that they will help him win the general election.Â Even though the district does include parts of rural South Jersey it also includes cities, shore towns, and Philadelphia suburbs.
The thoughts that Grossman expressed are reminiscent of the original complaints against affirmative action from decades ago.Â Many white racists believed (and still believe) that any preference given to someone from a racial minority is not only un-American but actually is discriminatory against white people.
Even though Donald Trump won the 2nd district of New Jersey by four percentage points in 2016, this doesn’t mean it is a safe Republican district.Â The demographics are constantly changing, growing younger and more diverse. It is very possible that by expressing his racist thoughts in a meeting that was captured on video, Seth Grossman may have inadvertently helped Democrats take back control of the U.S. House of Representatives.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.