A city councilman in Alabama is digging his heels into being ignorant after he was called out for using a racial slur.
Tommy Bryant refused to resign despite the backlash caused by his use of the n-word during a recent meeting. Bryant made the inflammatory comment on Monday during a city council meeting in Tarrant, Alabama, reported al.com. In a video recording of the meeting, he stood up, pointed at a Black councilwoman and asked a bizarre question.
“Do we have a house n—er in here?” Bryant asked during the council meeting, which was recorded. “Do we? Do we?”
Tarrant resident Waynette Bonham told NBC News that Bryant made the shi**y comment after she questioned him about his wife’s use of the word on Facebook.
In her post, Nancy Bryant reportedly accused Tarrant mayor Wayman Newton, Black, of referring to another council member as a “house n—er.”
Bryant stood by using the term and claimed he said it to highlight the mayor’s alleged behavior.
“I thought the city ought to know the type of terminology the mayor uses, and I didn’t want him to get away with it, so that’s the reason I made that comment,” Bryant told WVTM. “If I had let it go and sugar-coated it, we would not be having this conversation right now.”
Newton denied using the term and claimed Bryant was in cahoots with another council member to expose him.
“They are trying to expose me for saying something I did not say,” Newton told al.com. “All of that was a political stunt that they did not do very well.”
Bryant’s comments have led to demands for his resignation.
Alabama Democrats Call for Resignation of Tarrant City Council Member, John “Tommy” Bryant. pic.twitter.com/mEywQrD4Dr
— Alabama Democrats (@aldemocrats) July 20, 2021
“He is racist and unfit to serve,” the Alabama Democratic Party said in a statement. “Alabama still has a long way to go when it comes to race, but cozying up to the KKK and using the N-word should make you unfit to serve,” the statement continued. “These racists belong in the history books with Bull Connor and George Wallace, not on the taxpayer’s payroll.”
In a statement to NBC News, Alabama Republican Party Chairman John Wahl said the party is “deeply troubled by the racially charged outburst and disrespect shown by Councilman Tommy Bryant. Such language is completely unacceptable in any setting, and even more concerning coming from an elected official.”
Fellow councilmember Tracie Threadford said Bryant is “a distraction to all the change to our city, and he needs to resign.”
Threadford was sitting next to Bryant when he made the comment.
“The comments made at the Tarrant city council meeting have no place in government leadership, and if they reflect the opinion of Tommy Bryant, he should immediately step down,” Wahl added.
When a WVTM reporter asked if he would resign, Bryant said, “absolutely not.”
“I may consider running for mayor next time,” he added.