The Alabama Democratic Party is calling for the resignation of a white lawmaker after he referred to a fellow councilmember as a “house n****r” during a Monday night (July 19) meeting.
“Do we have a house n****r in here?” Tarrant City Councilman John “Tommy” Bryant said, referring to City Councilwoman Veronica Freeman, who is Black. “Do we? Do we?” he added.
AL.com reports that Bryant said he was only repeating what Tarrant Mayor Wayman Newton, the city’s first Black mayor, called Freeman.
In a Tuesday night interview with WVTM, Bryant claimed his use of the n-word and Newton’s alleged use of it is different.
“He said it in a derogatory manner, I said it so people would know what the mayor said,” he said. “The mayor was being derogatory toward Veronica Freeman when he said that.”
In a statement to AL.com, Newton denied using the n-word about Freeman and added, “The video speaks for itself,” in reference to Bryant saying the racial slur at the council meeting.
Attendees at the meeting are heard gasping after Bryant used the racist explicative. The Alabama Democratic Party is urging Bryant to resign, labeling him “a racist and unfit to serve.”
“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,” Wade Perry, the party’s executive director, said in a statement, according to AL.com. “These racists belong in the history books with Bull Connor and George Wallace, not on the taxpayer’s payroll.”
“The Alabama Republican 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,” Alabama Republican Party Chairman John Wahl said in a statement. “We are proud to have Mayor Wayman Newton as a member of the Jefferson County Republican Party and deeply appreciate his commitment to serving his constituents honorably, even in the face of adversity.”
Wahl did not say whether he believed Bryant should resign.