Republican who said diversity is destroying America kicks off campaign with racist congresswoman

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Lt. Gov. Dan Forest is launching his campaign for North Carolina governor with the exceptionally racist Rep. Virginia Foxx by his side.

Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest will launch his bid for governor of North Carolina on Saturday with "special guest" Rep. Virginia Foxx, a North Carolina congresswoman with a long history of racist comments. The decision to honor Foxx at his campaign kickoff rally comes on the heels of Forest's own controversial statements on diversity.

In a late June sermon at a Salisbury church, Forest claimed diversity is threatening America, ThinkProgress reported at the time.

"No other nation, my friends, has ever survived the diversity and multiculturalism that America faces today, because of a lack of assimilation, because of this division, and because of this identity politics," Forest said. The Southern Poverty Law Center has noted that such rhetoric about multiculturalism is used by white nationalist hate groups.

Forest was criticized at the time for his comments. Liz Doherty, a spokesperson for the North Carolina Democratic Party, called his comments "deeply troubling."

"They suggest that diversity is somehow harmful to our state and nation when the truth is: diversity should be celebrated — not regarded as a point of weakness," Doherty said.

But despite such criticism, Forest has invited Foxx — a congresswoman with a history of praising racists, using racist language, and promoting the racist conspiracy theories — to headline his rally.

After noted segregationist and former North Carolina Sen. Jesse Helms died, Foxx praised him as "the truest of patriots" and called him her "mentor." Despite Helms' opposition to laws like the 1965 Voting Rights Act, Foxx lauded him for "a strong legacy of fighting for the freedoms that make America great, even in the face of the strongest of foes." Some of those "strong foes" were anti-segregationists.

Foxx herself also opposed the renewal of the Voting Rights Act, joining extremists like white nationalist Rep. Steve King (R-IA).

In April 2012, Foxx endorsed a prominent proponent of the racist "birther" conspiracy theory questioning whether President Barack Obama, America's first black president, was an American citizen.

In 2009, Foxx repeatedly used the racist slur "tar baby" on the floor of the House of Representatives. That year, she dismissed claims that Matthew Shepard was murdered because he was gay was nothing more than a "hoax."

"We know that young man was killed in the commitment of a robbery. It wasn't because he was gay...It's really a hoax that that continues to be used as an excuse for passing these bills," Fox said at the time, referring to hate crime legislation.

Foxx will be joining Forest Saturday at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds.

Published with permission of The American Independent.