TARRANT, Ala. (WIAT) — Benard Simelton, President of the NAACP Alabama State Conference, wants to see Tarrant City Councilman John ‘Tommy’ Bryant resign, after his use of a racial slur during a public meeting this week.
Simelton, who took office in 2009, told CBS 42: “It’s in his best interest to step down. The NAACP will be at the next city council meeting to see what the city council is going to do.”
The city council meeting was being recorded when Bryant used the derogatory language, and the footage has sparked a multitude of reactions, including calls to resign from across the country.
Simelton believes action needs to be taken on the state level, to show that language is not tolerated in Alabama.
“We are calling on Governor Ivey to denounce what he has said publicly. Not send him a little nice note, but to publicly denounce what this racist has said, and we are asking Governor Ivey to do that immediately so that this will not become who Alabama is, because the nation and the world is looking at what this racist has said, and right now this is the face of Alabama,” Simelton said.
Councilman Bryant claimed he was repeating language used by the Tarrant Mayor during a past executive session.
“It is ok for me to repeat it because, as I said before, I wanted everybody to know what the mayor had said. He said it in a derogatory manner; I said it so that people would know what the mayor said,” Bryant told reporters on Tuesday.
Simelton explained even if that is true and Bryant was repeating what the mayor said, it doesn’t make it right.