A North Carolina Congressman caused a media stir Thursday and later apologized for saying that rioters in Charlotte “hate white people” and that the US welfare system has led to more racial division by holding back those who have become dependent on it.

Republican Congressman Rep. Robert Pittenger made the comments in an interview Thursday, following two nights of rioting, looting and violence in Charlotte.

“’The grievance in their mind is – the animus, the anger. They hate white people because white people are successful and they’re not,” Pittenger said in an interview with BBC Newsnight.

“I mean, yes, it is a welfare state. We have spent trillions on welfare — we have put people in bondage, so that they can’t be all that they’re capable of being.” Pittenger added.

“You know America is a country of freedom and liberty,” he continued, adding that “It didn’t become that way because of a great government who provided everything for everyone.”

Despite scores of videos emerging of black lives matter ‘protesters’ engaging in wanton destruction of property, and violence against innocent people just for being white, Pittenger’s comments caused a backlash on social media, which was amplified by the Democratic Party in the state.

The North Carolina Democratic Party picked up on Pittenger’s remarks, and released a statement describing them as inexcusable and racist.

Democratic North Carolina Congressman G.K. Butterfield called the remarks “disgusting” and “appalling.”

Democratic Rep. Grier Martin concurred.

Pittenger later released a statement of apology, explaining that he regretted what he said during the interview.

“What is taking place in my hometown right now breaks my heart,” Pittenger said.

“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 protesters last night on national TV.” he added in the statement.

“My intent was to discuss the lack of economic mobility for African-Americans because of failed policies.” Pittenger noted, adding “I apologize to those I offended and hope we can bring peace and calm to Charlotte.”

The city of Charlotte has announced that a curfew will go into effect Thursday at midnight due to the unrest.

proclamation issued by Mayor Jennifer Roberts stated that the citywide curfew will run from midnight to 6am every day as long as the current state of emergency is in effect.

Law enforcement officers, firefighters, doctors and other hospital employees, military personnel and journalists will all be exempted from the curfew.

The rioting was sparked by the fatal shooting of Keith Lamont Scott Tuesday, who police said came at them with a gun. Scott was shot by a black police officer.

Another man , 26-year-old Justin Carr, who was shot by a ‘protester’ also died Thursday night, according to NBC News.


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