White Virginia Politician Calls Black Reporter ‘Boy’ During Meeting

January 28, 2015 11:45 a.m.

A white politician in Virginia reportedly addressed a black reporter as “boy” at a meeting on Monday, but then tried to backpedal quickly.

Augusta County Supervisor Tracy Pyles, an independent who has run for office as a Democrat in the past, was apparently critcizing reporter Calvin Trice, 43, of the Virginia News Leader newspaper when the offending remark took place.

“You got it wrong, boy β€” uh, son,” Pyles told the reporter, according to the Virginia News Leader.

“That has bothered me,” Pyles later told the paper. “It certainly came out, and then I went to ‘son.'”

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The News Leader reported that Trice, as well as others present at the briefing, were offended by the way Pyles addressed him.

“The context was obviously angry and that’s a term that when its been used against me was a racial slur, a put down,” Trice told his newspaper.

Pyles said it’s just the way he talks, even to those who are dearest to him.

“It’s the way I talk to my sons here,” he said, according to the News Leader. “As soon as it left my mouth, I knew it was going to be misinterpreted.”

“I have boys,” Pyles continued. “‘Listen boy, you can’t do that.’ 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.”

Clarification: This post has been updated to clarify that Pyles was criticizing the reporter during the meeting, but they were not engaged in an argument.

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