Alabama City Leader Under Fire for Using Racial Slur, Refuses to Resign

Tarrant City councilmember Tommy Bryant is under fire for using a racial slur and refuses to step down from his position.

What We Know:

  • During a council meeting on Monday which was being live-streamed on Facebook, Bryant was seen standing up from his seat and addressing Tarrant Mayor Wayman Newton on various issues. At one point, Bryant turns his attention to Black female councilmember Veronica Freeman and used a racial slur at her. Everyone in the room gasped at Bryant’s use of the slur, and Freeman left the meeting in tears.

Warning: This video contains strong profanity. Viewer discretion is advised.

  • The white councilman stated that he was only repeating something that Newton said in a private meeting. He said that the public needed to know what type of person Newton was and that he was calling Freeman a “house N—–,” a house slave during slavery times, behind her back because she opposes him on various proposals. Newton told Advanced Local that he never referred to anyone by that racial term and that this was all a “political stunt that [the opposing side] did not do very well.”
  • According to the mayor, all of his meetings with council members are recorded, so audio evidence would exist if he did say the racial slur. Just last week, Freeman threatened to sue Newton for racial discrimination.
  • Waynette Bonham, a Tarrant resident and attendee to Monday’s meeting said she couldn’t believe what Bryant had said. She told CBS 42 that no one left the room because they were all shocked that something like that came out of the 77-year-olds mouth, especially since he was in a room with multiple Black people in it. She felt like the councilman was a little too comfortable saying the racial slur and that he should step down from his leadership position.
  • The Alabama NAACP asked for Bryant’s resignation as he had “disgraced himself and stained the position he holds.” The Democratic Party of Alabama also feels as if Bryant should resign and issued a statement calling for it. Alabama Republican Party Chairman John Wahl called Bryant’s actions unacceptable and concerning, as he is an elected official in the city.

Bryant has stated that he isn’t racist per the true definition of the word, regardless of what the public considers the term to mean. He has yet to apologize for saying the racial term and does not plan on stepping down from his long-term position anytime soon.

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