Politics

Congressman: Charlotte Rioters ‘Hate White People’ [VIDEO]

(REUTERS/Jason Miczek)

Scott Greer Contributor

Republican North Carolina Rep. Robert Pittenger said during a Thursday BBC interview that the reason why demonstrators have rioted this week in Charlotte is because “they hate white people.”

The answer came in response to a question from a BBC anchor asking the congressman what “grievance” does he see motivating the violent protests.

“The grievance in their minds – the animus, the anger – they hate white people because white people are successful and they’re not,” Pittenger replied.

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The representative, whose district include parts of Charlotte that were affected by the rioting, indicated to his questioner that he thinks the “welfare state” is the reason why the predominately African-American demonstrators are not succeeding.

“It is a welfare state. We have spent trillions of dollars on welfare, and we’ve put people in bondage, so they can’t be all they’re capable of being,” he added. “America is a country of opportunity and freedom and liberty. It didn’t become that way because of a great government that provided everything for everyone.”

His comments earned a swift backlash on social media and was denounced by the head of the Congressional Black Caucus, Democratic North Carolina Rep. G.K. Butterfield, and the North Carolina Democratic Party.

“This is an appalling sentiment from an era our country has left behind – and it is beneath any American, let alone a Member of Congress,” Butterfield wrote on Twitter Thursday night.

The state Democratic Party said that Pittenger “is fanning the flames of hate with his racist rhetoric.”

“This sort of bigotry has become all to common under the party of Donald Trump. Our great state should not be represented by someone who would make such hateful comments,” a press release from the state party read, The News & Observer reports. “Congressmen Pittenger must apologize, and Governor [Pat] McCrory and every Republican leader in this state should denounce this hateful rhetoric immediately.”

So far, no denunciation has come from Republican leaders, but Pittenger did issue an apology later Thursday.

“My anguish [over the rioting] led me to respond to a reporter’s question in a way that I regret,” he said in a statement. “The answer doesn’t reflect who I am. I was quoting statements made by angry protesters last night on national TV. My intent was to discuss the lack of economic mobility for African Americans because of failed policies. I apologize to those I offended and hope that we can bring peace and calm to Charlotte.”

The comments Pittenger may be thinking of are those of the brother of Keith Lamont Scott, the man who was killed by police on Thursday and whose death instigated the unrest. “Just know that all white people are fucking devils. All white cops are fucking devils, and white people,” Tim Jackson told reporters Thursday. (RELATED: Brother Of Man Shot By Black Police Officer In Charlotte: ‘All White Cops Are F***ing Devils, And White People’)

The officer who shot Scott is African American.

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