Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump participates in a roundtable discussion with African American business and civic leaders, Sept. 2, 2016, in Philadelphia, Pa. 
Photo by Evan Vucci/AP

Not a great week for Republican outreach to African Americans

One of the most competitive congressional races in the country this year is in New Jersey’s 2nd district, where local Republicans recently nominated attorney Seth Grossman in something of an upset. On Monday, the Philadelphia Inquirer  reported on previously unseen comments the GOP candidate made during his primary campaign.

“The whole idea of diversity is a bunch of crap and un-American,” Grossman said at a GOP campaign forum held April 21 in Pittsgrove, Salem County. That comment, captured on video, was filmed by the American Bridge to the 21st Century, a Washington-based political action committee that monitors Republican candidates. It was provided to the Inquirer and Daily News shortly after the June 5 primary.

In the two-minute video clip, Grossman calls diversity “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.”

The same day, state Rep. David Stringer (R) spoke at a forum in Arizona and complained that “there aren’t enough white kids to go around” in public schools in the state.

A day later, Virginia Republicans nominated a right-wing pro-Confederacy candidate, Corey Stewart, to run for the U.S. Senate, despite his deeply controversial record on race.

Just hours earlier, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) shared social media content from a British white nationalist who has described himself as a “Nazi sympathizer.”

All of this unfolded over the course of 48 hours this week.

Last fall, Marc Short, the White House’s legislative affairs director, told NBC News that Donald Trump “believes it is his role to improve race relations.”

I don’t think those efforts are going especially well.

Racism

Not a great week for Republican outreach to African Americans