There are calls for an Alabama councilman to step down after he was caught on video using the n-word at a meeting, but John "Tommy" Bryant says he's not going anywhere. The Tarrant city councilmember, who is white, was participating in a Monday night meeting that was being livestreamed to the city's Facebook page, CNN reports. He can be seen talking to Tarrant Mayor Wayman Newton and fellow councilmember Veronica Freeman, both of whom are Black. At one point he stood up, pointed to Freeman, and said, per NBC News, "Do we have a house [n-word] in here? Would she please stand up?" Freeman left the meeting in tears and returned later.
Bryant tells WVTM he was simply repeating something he heard Newton say about Freeman. "He said it in a derogatory manner, I said it so people would know what the mayor said," Bryant claims. "The mayor was being derogatory toward Veronica Freeman when he said that." Newton denies using the word toward Freeman, AL.com reports. The Alabama Democratic Party is calling for Bryant to step down, while the state's Republican Party chairman says that if the comments made at the meeting reflect Bryant's opinion, he should resign. At the same meeting, Bryant referred to the LGBTQ+ community as "LGBT-whatever" and made disparaging comments about Islam. (Read more Alabama stories.)