I see your point.
Part of it has to do with leadership and what we choose, as a larger society, to emphasize and admire.
In other words, should we be judging people by their lowest moral behaviors or by their highest ideals? Does the reality of their lived lives and choices matter more, or esoteric ideals that aren't realized?
I suspect point of view will depend on where one is positioned vis a vis impact: people who are victimized by any particular context focus on impact. The person who is not subject to that victimization operates to excuse him/her/themself through intent: ie, 'I didn't mean it.'
Also, shouldn't leaders be held up to higher standards than the general population by virtue of the fact that leaders have more power? Shouldn't anyone with more power in any particular context worry more about how to exhibit it properly than whether or not they are going to seem nice or smart?
On a psychological basis, all humans let themselves off the hook as a manner of self-preservation. So, the dominant will typically emphasize intent while the oppressed will emphasize impact.
In each of our responses, we typically (though not always) witness that the individual reveals him/her/themself through the choice of critical lens.