U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger, a Charlotte Republican, apologized Thursday after saying the violence in Charlotte stems from black protesters who “hate white people because white people are successful and they’re not,” reports the city’s Observer. Pittenger’s district includes parts of the city where protests have turned violent in the wake of a police shooting of a black man. He made the statement on a BBC-TV news program Thursday when asked to describe the “grievance” of the protesters. “The grievance in their minds – the animus, the anger – they hate white people because white people are successful and they’re not,” Pittenger said.
He then criticized people who receive welfare. “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 later apologized on Twitter, saying his 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.”