North Carolina Rep. Robert Pittenger (R) stirred some unnecessary controversy in the midst of an already contentious environment in Charlotte on Thursday. Protesters have fought with police for three nights now after a cop shot and killed an African-American male earlier this week. The violent riots, however, have resulted in another death and dozens of people have been arrested.
In an interview with the BBC, Pittenger claimed the activists on the streets are only smashing windows and clashing with police because they "hate white people."
"They hate white people, because white people are successful and they're not."
Pittenger has apparently apologized for the comment, noting he was only quoting statements from the actual protesters themselves. His office released the following statement.
“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. The answer doesn’t reflect who I am. I was quoting statements made by angry protestors last night on national TV,” Pittenger said in the statement. “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 we can bring peace and calm to Charlotte.”
Some are arguing his apology is not enough and are demanding he resign from Congress.