North Carolina GOPer Sorry His Racist Rant About Black People Offended You (VIDEO)

Robert Pittenger is a two-term Republican congressman who represents North Carolina’s Ninth Congressional District, which includes much of the area around Charlotte. On Thursday, Pittenger was interviewed by the BBC about the unrest taking place in the city following the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott. During that interview, Pittenger indicated that he thought those who were driving the protests were black people who “hate white people.” And why does the congressman think the protesters hate white people? “Because [white people] are successful and they’re not.”

First of all, you have to wonder what protests Pittenger was watching, because in the coverage I have seen, there are protesters of many races and ethnicities. Does Pittenger think that the white protesters hate white people too?

As you listen to the man offer his thoughts, you realize that Pittenger is a prototypical southern Republican. He starts by invoking the name of Martin Luther King. Then he calls on President Obama, Attorney General Lynch, and other black leaders to go to Charlotte and appeal for calm. From there he moves smoothly to pointing a finger of blame at President Johnson and the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

After that he blames President Obama’s policies for what he says is the current condition of black Americans. You keep waiting for him to echo Trump (who has received the congressman’s endorsement) and say things are worse for the black community than they’ve ever been before, but he stops short of going there.

Interviewer James O’Brien interrupts Pittenger’s monologue, saying,

“With respect congressman, I don’t think the people on the streets last night or the night before were protesting against Lyndon B. Johnson’s almost half a century old policies. What is their grievance in their mind?”

Of course, Pittenger can’t tell the simple truth, which is that the protesters just want police to stop the unjustified killings of black people. So instead he says this:

“The grievance in their mind is the animus, the anger. They hate white people because white people are successful and they’re not.”

That remark leads Pittenger to a critique of the “welfare state,” which he says “puts people in bondage, so they can’t be all that they’re capable of being.” O’Brien’s look says it all.

BBC interviewer

The congressman must have been absent from school the day his history class learned about the south’s “peculiar institution” — slavery — that put people in actual bondage for almost two centuries.

“So, a black man gets shot by a black police officer, and the people protest because they hate white people?” O’Brien asks as if he doesn’t quite believe what he has just heard.

“Yeah, that’s what they’re saying on TV,” is Pittenger’s response.

The congressman’s remarks produced a strong reaction from another North Carolina representative, Democrat G.K. Butterfield, who tweeted in response,

Of course, now Pittenger is in full damage control mode, tweeting the typical “I apologize to those I offended” non-apology, which is really a way of saying “I stick by what I said, but I’m sorry if it made you angry.” Shortly after Butterfield’s comment, Pittenger tweeted this:

And a couple of minutes later, this:

Perhaps the saddest part of all of this is that Robert Pittenger will be returned to Congress by voters in his district. He is one of many Republicans who represent extensively gerrymandered districts that are safely red, and voters who disagree with him will not be able to hold him to account for his outrageous comments.

Here’s the full interview, via BBC/YouTube:

Featured image via YouTube screen capture

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