Republican Candidate Says Diversity 'Un-American' and 'A Bunch of Crap'

Seth Grossman, a "Make America Great Again" candidate who clinched a surprise win last week in South Jersey's Republican congressional primary, is coming under national scrutiny for saying that diversity is "un-American."

During a recorded GOP campaign forum, the National Republican Congressional Committee endorsed candidate said that "the whole idea of diversity is a bunch of crap and un-American."

In the 2-minute clip, recorded by progressive PAC American Bridge, Grossman elaborated that diversity is "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."

When reached by Newsweek and asked to clarify his position, Grossman doubled down and said that diversity should not be considered a virtue. "In my opinion whether you succeed or fail should depend on your talent, character or work and not by your race or gender," he said.

He rebuffed the idea that systemic oppression of certain groups in America might make it difficult for them to succeed regardless of talent or work ethic. "For the last 50 years, America has offered boundless opportunities to Americans of all races and genders and ethnic groups, nobody today is entitled to a special privilege because of what happened 50 or 100 years ago," Grossman said.

The 69-year-old candidate said that he grew up in an America that was great because "people were judged by what they produced and not what they were entitled to by being a member of group," and that he'd like to take the country back to that time.

Grossman was five years old when the Supreme Court case of Brown v. Board of Education mandated that schools be desegregated, though it took many years for all schools to successfully integrate. In 1958, when Grossman was nine years old, 44 percent of white Americans said they would move if a black family became their next door neighbor.

Grossman, who said he believes the number one problem in America is the country's "unsustainable immigration system," also blamed a lack of opportunity for black Americans on immigrants. "Once we say that the Republicans want these traditional ways that made America great for all these years, then maybe African Americans would realize that when we enforce our immigration laws, there'll be more opportunity for Americans of all backgrounds," he said.

Grossman currently has about $10,000 on hand. His Democratic competitor, Jeff Van Drew, has nearly $400,000.

"I am very disappointed by Seth's comments," said Van Drew in a statement to Newsweek. "Our rich diversity in South Jersey and across America has formed the bedrock of our great nation's success. It's why we're called the land of opportunity, and I'm proud of that. I am very sad to find out that Seth doesn't appreciate the diversity that has made America the greatest country on earth."

Protesters hold signs in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. Mark Wilson/Getty Images