Intent is no defense, Pat Buchanan

Looks like Pat Buchanan is using ignorance as his defense for referring to President Barack Obama as “your boy” on Al Sharpton’s new MSNBC show.

Buchanan appeared on the cable network’s Morning Joe to explain himself, adding “some folks took what I said as some kind of a slur. None was meant, none was intended, none was delivered.”


When will people begin to realize that intent has not a damn thing to do with whether or not a comment or reference comes by as offensive? I’m sure Rep. Doug Lamborn who likened working with the president to touching “tar baby” didn’t intend for his comments to be racially insensitive and offensive. But they were.

I’m so sick of people with privilege hiding behind their intent or ignorance when they are caught having to explain their racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, transphobic or ableist remarks. Your intent or ignorance is not transmitted or communicated to the people you are talking to or referring to, so using that as your crutch is not a viable defense.

Buchanan’s reference to Sharpton about the president being “your boy” not only shows Buchanan’s subconscious contempt he has for the president, it also shows his lack of respect about persons of color as a whole. Referring to the president as “your boy” effectively reduces his stature as a man and as president of the United States. White men and women in the south routinely referred to black men as “boys” as a way of reminding black men they were second-class citizens during the Jim Crow era. Pat Buchanan’s reference is an extension of that.

So, Pat Buchanan, don’t insult the intelligence of the public by saying your intent wasn’t to cut the president down to a stature of your (and other likes you) stature. Your intent is no defense for your subconscious hatred of black folks and other persons of color.