A Tarrant, Alabama City Council meeting on Sunday became the scene of a grotesque display of racism when Republican Tarrant City Councilman John Tommy Bryant verbally accosted a Black Democratic colleague by calling her the n-word to her face.
Bamapolitics.com set the scene on Monday:
What lead to Bryant’s use of the racial slur during the meeting starts when a citizen identified as Chuck appears to stand up for Bryant, accusing the other city council members of using Bryant as a punching bag. Chuck asks Bryant why he hasn’t defended himself in the past and then asks Bryant to do that.
For the next few minutes, Bryant takes the floor and his points are scattered. Bryant and Newton have a few back and forth exchanges and Bryant complains about being interrupted by others in the past. Just after the 1 hour and 38-minute mark in the video, Newton takes the floor and brings up Bryant’s wife and her social media posts. From there, the exchange grows with another city council member commenting about his wife’s social media posts and Bryant defending himself stating that his wife does not speak for him.
Just before the 1 hour and 41-minute mark, an unidentified person in the audience states that Bryant’s wife used the n-word on Facebook.
Bryant handled the situation in precisely the wrong way.
“Let’s get to the n-word,” Bryant said. Democratic Tarrant City Councilwoman Veronica Freeman, who was seated a few chairs down from Bryant, can be heard interjecting, “I know I’m black.”
Bryant then stood up, pointed to Freeman, and asked, “Do we have a house n***er in here? Do we? Hey, do we? Would she please stand up?”
Alabama Republican Party Chairman John Wahl issued a statement condemning Bryant’s remarks.
“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,” Wahl said. “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.”
The Alabama Democratic Party, meanwhile, is demanding that Bryant resign immediately.
“Last night, Tarrant City Council Member John ‘Tommy’ Bryant stood up and used the N-word at a City Council Meeting. He is a racist and unfit to serve. He now joins fellow racists and Republicans Rep. Will Dismukes, Blount County Commissioner Dean Calvert as embarrassments to Alabama and the Republican party. All Alabamians should be calling on Republican political leaders like Governor Kay Ivey and US Senate Candidate Katie Britt to demand the immediate resignation of these overt racists,” Alabama Democratic Party Executive Director Wade F. Perry 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,” said Perry. “These racists belong in the history books with Bull Connor and George Wallace, not on the taxpayer’s payroll.”
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Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.