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Alabama GOP City Council Member Sparks Outrage After Casually Using Racial Slur During Meeting

WVTM 13 News/YouTube

A Republican city council member in Alabama provoked widespread backlash and calls for resignation after he used the n-word seemingly in reference to a Black colleague on the council.

According to CBS 42, Tarrant City Councilman John "Tommy" Bryant used the slur after other members of the council questioned him about his wife's use of racist language on her social media posts.

Bryant, apparently frustrated by those challenges, launched into a brief racist tirade.

"The n-word. The n-word. Let's get to the n-word. Hey. Do we have a house [N-word] in here? Do we? Hey. Would she please stand up?"

You can see footage here:

WARNING: NSFW language

youtu.be

The "she" Bryant referred to was Councilwoman Veronica Freeman, who is Black.

She left the room in tears.

The incident may have been hard to believe if the entire thing wasn't caught on video.


Tarrant residents called for Bryant to resign following his use of the slur.

Resident Waynett Bonham, who is Black, shared his thoughts with CBS 42.

"We were astonished. No one left, because we were actually very very in shock as to what he had said."
"I was like this was the person that is supposed to be serving our communities? Like, this is supposed to be our representation, he has his own district in Tarrant? No."
"I think he should resign because he was way too comfortable standing up and using that word in front of a group of people of color."

Bryant, however, showed no regret for what he did.

He shared his reflections with WVTM 13 News, who asked if he planned to resign.

"Absolutely not. I may even consider running for mayor next time."
When a reporter later asked, flat out, if Bryant is a racist his response was surprisingly convoluted.
"A racist? Well that's according to what your definition of a racist is."

Bryant then went on to say he would do it again if he could go back.

He said of his reason:

"It is ok for me to repeat it because as I said before, I wanted everybody to know what the mayor had said. He said it in a derogatory manner, I said it so that people would know what the mayor said."

When news of Bryant's comment hit Twitter, the anger was relentless.







As for Councilwoman Freeman, who Bryant said the comment about, her attorney issued a statement on her behalf.

"The statements constitute unconscionable racial discrimination and harassment. Such statements are also deeply hurtful and absolutely unacceptable in our society."

Fellow City Council Member and Mayor Pro Tem Tracie Threadford also called for Bryant's resignation.

"Tommy Bryant is a distraction to all the change to our city and he needs to resign."

No matter which way you cut it, Bryant's blatant use of a racial slur has left him in a very bad spot.

But it pales in comparison to the damage that term inflicted on those it attacked.