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NC congressman: Charlotte protesters 'hate white people'

Posted September 22
Updated September 23

Robert Pittenger

— In an interview with BBC Newsnight, Republican 9th District Congressman Robert Pittenger said protesters in Charlotte "hate white people because white people are successful and they're not."

“The grievance in their minds, the animus, the anger – they hate white people because white people are successful and they’re not,” Pittenger said when asked to describe the “grievance” of the people protesting.

North Carolina Democratic Party Director Kimberly Reynolds called Pittenger's remarks "inexcusable."

"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 (presidential nominee) Donald Trump. Our great state should not be represented by someone who would make such hateful comments. Congressmen Pittenger must apologize, and Governor (Pat) McCrory and every Republican leader in this state should denounce this hateful rhetoric immediately," Reynolds said.

Pittenger apologized for his remarks via Twitter Thursday night.

"My answer to BBC doesn't reflect who I am. I was quoting statements made by angry protesters last night on National TV. Not my intent. My intent was to discuss the lack of economic mobility for African Americans because of failed policies. I apologize to those I offended and I hope we can bring peace and calm to Charlotte," he said.

On Friday, Pittenger apoligized again on CNN.

“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. 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," he said.   

14 Comments

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  • Amy Whaley Sep 25, 12:47 p.m.
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    Why Benjamin? What has the Democratic party done for black Americans? What policies do you like? I don't want the government demanding what I must purchase and not purchase acting as if they know what is best for me. No thank you.

  • Tracy T. Dalrymple Sep 25, 9:23 a.m.
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    Open you eyes and see government free loading is across all races, NOT just African Americans. I worked in a grocery store for 5 years as a teen and through college and saw this first hand.

  • Aiden Audric Sep 23, 1:27 p.m.
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    Hoping that's sarcasm.

    If an angry, irrational rioter yells a hyperbolic statement, should a calm, "rational" politician who represents every single constituent respond with blacks "hate white people because white people are successful and they're not"?

    His backtrack was more-or-less an affirmation of what he really meant: he thinks minorities are inferior.

    Well, maybe he was supporting minorities. "Whites are successful, blacks are not" because white people oppress them and won't let them succeed, and we need to work on that." Yeah, nope, no matter how I try to spin it for him, I think he was crystal clear.

  • Alan Womack Sep 23, 12:38 p.m.
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    Oprah was wrong on one count. They need to take their racist children with them if we're ever going to see an end to the idiocy of racism in the world. If the truth hurts, so be it. You'll get over it I'm certain.

  • Jimmy Jones Sep 23, 11:23 a.m.
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    Preach it

  • Vince DiSena Sep 23, 11:02 a.m.
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    Just choose another adjective. Progressive Left?

  • Barney Gravel Sep 23, 10:56 a.m.
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    To quote Ron Paul: "Racism is simply an ugly form of collectivism, (socialism, communism and American left), the mindset that views humans strictly as members of groups rather than individuals. Racists believe that all individuals who share superficial physical characteristics are alike: as collectivists, racists only think in terms of groups. By encouraging Americans to adopt a group mentality, the advocates of so called “diversity,” actually perpetuate racism. Their obsession with racial group identity is inherently racist. The true antidote to racism is liberty." While the tyrannical establishment divides us, they retain their power and the ability to do as they wish. America 2016.

  • Chris Cole Sep 23, 10:32 a.m.
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    Trying to justify his actions by citing other people is ignorant in itself. Each person is a different case and should be treated as such accordingly. Doing the "He said, she said" mess just further divides us.

  • Barney Gravel Sep 23, 9:25 a.m.
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    How is what Pittenger said deplorable if that is what the protestors themselves said? Typical, the Democrats are missing the point.

  • Matt Clinton Sep 23, 8:06 a.m.
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    I'm only offended that he backed off his initial comments.

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