TARRANT, Ala. - Calls are mounting for the resignation of John "Tommy" Bryant, an Alabama city councilman who was caught on camera saying the N-word during a public meeting on Monday.
Attendees and those watching the meeting on a livestream could see Bryant, who is White, stand up during an exchange with colleagues and ask "do we have a house n****r in here? Do we? Hey, do we? Would she please stand up?"
Bryant later told WVTM that he was repeating what Tarrant Mayor Wayman Newton, who is Black, called Councilwoman Veronica Freeman, who is also Black. But Newton denied ever using the racial slur, AL.com reported.
"Tommy Bryant is an unapologetic bigot and he needs to resign," said Newton, Tarrant's first Black mayor. "He has become a distraction to all of the positive change my administration is bringing to the City of Tarrant."
The incident left those in attendance gasping in shock. The state’s Democratic and Republican parties condemned Bryant’s language in separate statements.
Democrats called for Bryant to resign, calling him 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," the Democrats’ statement read. "These racists belong in the history books with Bull Connor and George Wallace, not on the taxpayer’s payroll."
John Wahl, chair of the Alabama Republican Party, did not call for Bryant’s resignation. But he called Bryant’s language "completely unacceptable in any setting, and even more concerning coming from an elected official."
"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 said.
This story was reported from Atlanta.