Protesters were shocked Sunday morning when they went to the location of the Tamale Stand operated by controversial political icon Joe St. Columbia. Picket signs saying "Joe Must Go" "Be Accountable for Your Actions" "Leave our Neighborhood" "Monkeys don't eat Tamales" and others adorned the parking lot when Joe St. Columbia and his wife arrived around 10:30 a.m. to open for business on Saturday, April 9, 2011.
In the face of protesters, Joe St. Columbia excused his wife and declined to open for business. Reportedly, Former Alderman Bruce Hudson approached the protesters after the rally claiming to have heard about the rally. He was known to listen to a radio program called the Inside Scoop which airs each Saturday morning on KJIW FM 94.5 at 11:30 a.m. That program did report that Mayor Arnell Willis and the police had been at the scene harassing the protesters. Bruce Hudson defended St. Columbia and blamed the former mayor.
It has been shared with us that Turell Williams, Sr., spoke via phone with Mayor Arnell Willis who will meet with Turell on Monday to receive copies of the two (2) emails sent in addition to the Monkey email. The first of those emails dealt with Latrica Ryan of Flint, MI. The second dealt with little black boys and had the caption "It's the White Man Holding Us Back." That photo came from a website called chimpout.com.
Mayor Arnell Willis is under increasing pressure to do what is right and request St. Columbia's resignation. Julious McGruder, a local preacher, blasted Willis on the NAACP Radio program for Willis's stance that it is okay for a white man to call black folks monkeys. We will see if Mayor Willis gives McGruder the ole church handshake this week that will cause McGruder to reverse himself as he has done already with Mayor Willis.
At any rate, protesters have been in talks with supporters about the next steps to take and are continually receiving helpful information from a loose coalition of believers. If you are at all interested in helping or if you have copies of Joe St. Columbia emails that should be shared with the world, please forward them to email@example.com.
It is our goal that Joe St. Columbia be held accountable for his actions. We can't read his heart but we can see his actions.