Republican Congressman Robert Pittenger said the Charlotte rioters are out in the streets rioting because they “hate white people.”
Pittenger’s congressional district includes part of Charlotte and its suburbs. He made his remarks while being interviewed on BBC Newsnight in response to a question about the protestors’ grievances.
The video was posted online and includes Pittenger’s response, “The grievance in their mind is — the animus, the anger — they hate white people because white people are successful and they’re not.”
In addition, Pittenger said that the welfare system was responsible for holding people back.
Pittenger quickly recanted his remarks after coming under fire from Democrats.
“What is taking place in my hometown right now breaks my heart. My anguish led me to respond to a reporter’s question in a way that I regret,” he said in his apology statement.
Protests continued for a third night on Thursday, following the shooting of a black man by a black police officer on Tuesday. Law enforcement says the man had a gun; the family of the victim denies he had a gun. The video of the shooting was viewed by the family, who said it was inconclusive.
The protest on Thursday night was peaceful, although the previous nights saw violence and one person shot and killed by another protestor.