Dear Governor Beebe:
On August 15, 2007, you announced that you were appointing Helena-West Helena Alderman Joe St. Columbia to the Mississippi River Parkway Commission. As of today, it is our information that he is the Chairman of that Commission.
We are writing to you today to ask you to ask your appointee to resign from this very important commission which seeks to promote the region of this state bordering the Mississippi River. In short, he is representing Arkansas to the rest of the country and the world.
We make this request of you today for the following reasons. Mr. St. Columbia has disseminated at least three racist emails that are offensive to the African-American population of this state. First, an email surfaced that described the elected black leadership in Helena-West Helena as "monkeys" running the "zoo."
Second, Mr. St. Columbia disseminated an email that describes a scheme involving the welfare system in the state of Illinois. In addition to the urban legend being a bona fide lie, it is illustrated with a picture of a single black mother with nine kids and has a caption that says "They will do anything to game the system..." This clearly had a racial overtone and intent. If it did not, it would not have been necessary to have the picture.
Third, an email was sent by Mr. St. Columbia that had a picture with the title "In Honor of Black History Month." The image had two young black males with sagging pants, no shirt, gestures resembling gang signs, and a caption that said the young men could not get jobs because the white man was holding us back. In addition, the image came from a website called chimpout.com which is filled with racist pictures.
You can see the emails for yourself on this website as well as from reports on WMC-TV, WREG-TV, ABC24-TV (All are Memphis stations, the Arkansas Times, bluearkansasblog.com, and www.insidescooponline.com).
Clearly, this is not the kind of representation that the great State of Arkansas and the City of Helena-West Helena needs. Since this man is your appointee, we are hoping that you will publicly call for his resignation. Surely you do not want your office associated with this kind of vile material. As members of "Joe Must Go" and citizens of the State of Arkansas, we do not want and hope you will not tolerate this from any of your appointees.
Joe Must Go