Alabama Councilman Who Used N-Word Won't Apologize, May Run for Mayor

A white city councilman in Alabama who was caught on camera using a racial slur toward Black people said during a council meeting that he refuses to apologize and might run for mayor despite calls for his resignation.

The Tarrant City Council member, Tommy Bryant, told local news outlets he used the n-word because he was reflecting something the city's Black mayor, Wayman Newton, had said during a previous private meeting.

In the footage, Bryant stands up from his seat in the public council session and said, referring to a Black female council member, Veronica Freeman, "Do we have a house [n-word] in here?"

Audible gasps from the audience can be heard in the broadcast, which was streamed on Facebook Live. Freeman left crying but Bryant was not apologetic.

"I did what needed to be done. It needed to be brought to light what kind of a person the mayor is," Bryant told WVTM-TV.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below:

Selma
Tarrant [Alabama] City Council member Tommy Bryant said he won't apologize for using a racial slur during a recent council meeting. Former President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, Malia Obama, Sasha Obama, with members of Congress and civil rights leaders make a symbolic walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge March 7, 2015, in Selma, Alabama. Gerald Herbert-pool/Getty Images

The mayor declined comment and said the video speaks for itself.

Asked whether he is a racist, Bryant demurred.

"It's according to what your definition of the word racist is. What a lot of the public's definition is, I might be a racist. But according to what the true definition of a racist is, absolutely not," he told the station.

Bryant did not respond to an email sent to the city by the Associated Press on Wednesday seeking additional comment.

While city elections are nonpartisan in Alabama, the state Democratic Party issued a statement calling for Bryant's resignation, and the Alabama GOP noted that Newton is a Republican and said Bryant's remark was "completely unacceptable."

Tarrant, which adjoins Birmingham, has a population of about 6,100 and is about 53 percent Black, Census statistics show.