A white Alabama city council member is facing backlash after using a racial slur during a city council meeting earlier this week, the Associated Press reports.
At some point during Monday’s meeting which was broadcasted on Facebook Live, Tarrant City Council member Tommy Bryant stood up and, while referring to Black female council member Veronica Freeman, he asked “Do we have a house n****r” in here?”
Halfway through the meeting, an unidentified attendee stated that Bryant’s wife used the n-word on Facebook, to which Bryant responded saying, “Let’s get to the n-word”.
He then asked the question “Do we have a house n****r in here?” which led many people in the audience to gasp.
A minute after Bryant used the racial slur directed at Freeman, she is seen on camera crying before getting up and making an exit.
Bryant told WVTM-TV that his use of the slur reflected what the city’s Black mayor, Wayman Newton, said about Freeman during an earlier, private session. Mayor Newton has denied these claims and said he did not refer to Freeman as such.
While speaking with the news outlet, an unapologetic Bryant said, “I did what needed to be done. It needed to be brought to light what kind of a person the mayor is.”
When asked if he was a racist, Bryant stated “It's according to what your definition of the word racist is. What a lot of the public's definition is, I might be a racist. But according to what the true definition of a racist is, absolutely not.”
The Alabama Democratic Party along with city residents have called on Bryant to resign, however instead of resigning, he said he may run for mayor, the Associated Press reported.
In a statement, Alabama Democrats said the state “has a long way to go” as it pertains to dismantling systemic racism.
Alabama Democrats Call for Resignation of Tarrant City Council Member, John “Tommy” Bryant. pic.twitter.com/mEywQrD4Dr— Alabama Democrats (@aldemocrats) July 20, 2021
"Cozying up to the KKK and using the N-word should make you unfit to serve," the group wrote. "These racists belong in the history books with Bull Connor and George Wallace, not on the taxpayer’s payroll.”