A white city councilman in Tarrant, Alabama blurted out an appalling racist slur during a meeting on Monday (July 19).
“Do we have a house n**ger in here? Do we? Do we? Will she please stand up?” Tommy Bryant said according to The Daily Beast. Bryant was reportedly talking about Veronica Freeman, a Black council member, whom he pointed to after saying the slur. People attending the meeting were audibly shocked by Bryant's words.
The outburst came after members of the community questioned Bryant about his wife using the slur on social media, Bama Politics reported. Bryant said the city’s mayor, Wayman Newton, who is Black, used the slur to describe Freeman and repeated it to show the magnitude of it, per AL.com.
“We were astonished. No one left, because we were actually very very in shock as to what he had said,” Black Tarrant resident Waynette Bonham told CBS 42. “I was like this was the person that is supposed to be serving our communities? Like, this is supposed to be our representation, he has his own district in Tarrant? No.” Bonham is among the growing group of residents calling on Bryant to resign from the city council.
Reports also noted an ongoing “power struggle” between Newton, Bryant and a white former police chief Dennis Reno, and this incident is the latest in the battle for power. The state’s Democratic Party has also demanded Bryant step down.