On a BBC News program on Thursday, U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger was asked about the “grievance” of the protesters. The politician, whose district includes areas marked by demonstrations, took a moment to explain his true feelings about the protests.
“The grievance in their minds — the animus, the anger — they hate white people because white people are successful and they’re not,” Pittenger said. “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.”
It did not take long for other representatives to chime in regarding the ignorance that Pittenger so confidently displayed.
The North Carolina Democratic Party released a statement that described the comment made by Pittenger as “racist.”
“These comments are inexcusable,” executive director Kimberly Reynolds said in a release. “At a time when we need calm and understanding while we learn more about the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, Congressman Pittenger is fanning the flames of hate with his racist rhetoric. This sort of bigotry has become all too common under the party of Donald Trump. Our great state should not be represented by someone who would make such hateful comments.”
Later that day, Pittenger released an official apology and claimed that he was simply restating the sentiments of some of the protesters.
On Twitter, Pittenger wrote that his reponse “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.”
You can watch the original video of the racist comment below.
(Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)