One Virginia county official is trying to apologize for a racially charged slipup in which he called a black reporter “boy” during a public meeting, Raw Story reports.
Augusta County Supervisor Tracy Pyles was reportedly disagreeing with an article written by News Leader reporter Calvin Trice, 43, during a staff meeting when he said, “You got it wrong, boy—uh, son.”
Raw Story says that Trice, who reports on government affairs, was prepared for the official’s ire in response to his article on a controversial closed meeting that was reportedly not held properly, but he didn’t expect the racial undertones.
“The context was obviously angry, and that’s a term that when it’s been used against me was a racial slur, a put-down,” Trice said.
Pyles, meanwhile, said that while he understands the historically racist connotation of the word as used against black men, he speaks to everyone that way. “I have boys. ‘Listen boy, you can’t do that,’” Pyles said, according to Raw Story. “That’s the way I talk to them. The fact that I think of Calvin no differently than I do anybody else, it came out, but I know the world looks at things differently.
“I understand how people take that, and it’s because how I talk naturally, you know, to everybody or anybody who would be of about that age, and I followed it up with, as soon as it came out of my mouth,” the official added, saying that he knew his words would be “misinterpreted.” “I immediately went to ‘son.’”
Read more at Raw Story.