CHARLOTTE, N.C. --A North Carolina congressman says that people are protesting in Charlotte because they "hate white people."
U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger, a Republican whose district includes parts of Charlotte, was asked by an interviewer for Britain's BBC TV what grievance the protesters have.
In the video posted online Thursday, Pittenger responded: "The grievance in their mind is - the animus, the anger - they hate white people because white people are successful and they're not."
I apologize to those I offended and hope we can bring peace and calm to Charlotte.— Rep Robert Pittenger (@reppittenger) September 22, 2016
He later released a statement apologizing and saying that his anguish over the situation led him to give a response he regretted.
In a tweet, Pittenger said: "My intent was to discuss the lack of economic mobility for African Americans because of failed policies."
Chaotic protests broke out Tuesday and Wednesday in Charlotte after a black man was shot to death by a police officer.
The North Carolina Democratic Party released a statement saying Pittenger's remarks were inexcusable and racist.
"These comments are 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," NCDP Executive Director Kimberly Reynolds said.
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