Republican Rep. Robert Pittenger of North Carolina, who represents the people of Charlotte, believes those protesting in the city hate white people (video below).
"The grievance in their mind is -- the animus, the anger -- they hate white people because white people are successful and they're not,” he told the BBC in an interview.
Pittenger goes on to explain that North Carolina is a welfare state, having spent trillions of dollars on public assistance that has ultimately held people back.
“We’ve put people in bondage, so that they can’t be all that they’re capable of being,” he said.
The North Carolina Democratic Party said in a statement that Pittenger’s remarks were inexcusable and that he was “fanning the flames of hate with his racist rhetoric.”
Pittenger later released a statement apologizing for his comments.
"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," he said in the statement, according to Fox News.
The protests in Charlotte began after 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott, a black man, was fatally shot by African-American police officer Brentley Vinson on Sept. 20.
Scott’s family claims he was unarmed, NBC News reports.
Police officials said in a statement that Scott was armed with a handgun and that he was given multiple warnings to drop his weapon.
"The officers gave loud, clear, verbal commands which were also heard by many of the witnesses," Charlotte-Mecklenburg County Police Chief Kerr Putney said at a Sept. 21 news conference.
The Charlotte protests have caused damage to property, multiple injuries, and at least one death. After two days, the protests took a peaceful turn on the evening of Sept. 22.