by Max Brantley
Helena-West Helena Alderman Joe St. Columbia apparently had to shut down his Pasquale's tamale stand Saturday because of a demonstration about e-mail he's forwarded that many have characterized as racist. One, linking to a news account of the city's financial troubles, included a comment, "This is what happens when you put Monkeys in to run the zoo." That inspired a protest sign Saturday from which I took my headline.
St. Columbia is white. He's been defended by Mayor Arnell Willis, who is black. St. Columbia has disavowed racial animosity and said he attends a church led by a black preacher.
The Inside Scoop blog provides in-depth coverage of the tamale war.