A Missouri man hung a sign advertising slaves for sale because he was tired of being called racist for flying a Confederate flag.
Richard Geisenheyner, of Liberty, said he displays the Confederate flag to express his anti-government views, and he said anyone who’s offended by the banner is “stupid,” reported WDAF-TV.
“If people actually believe that a Confederate flag stands for slavery, well, I might as well be just as stupid as they are,” he told the TV station.
Geisenheyner, who uses an electrolarynx to speak, denied being racist and said he has mixed-race grandchildren, and he said the flag is just a political statement.
“It is for people that are tired of the government telling them what to do and what to think,” he said. “That is what a Southern rebel is.”
But his neighbors weren’t impressed.
“His rebel flag don’t have a damn thing to do with me, wave it all you want,” said one man, who asked not to be identified on TV. “This idiot with his slaves for sale, are you fricking kidding me?”
Other neighbors said the flag — and Geisneheyner’s sign — were an offensive reminder of not-so-distant “Jim Crow” policies.
“I am going to tell you why it is offensive to me,” one neighbor told the TV station. “I remember the signs on the wall that says ‘white only.’ I am that old. I remember the signs on the wall that says ‘Negroes only entrance here.’”
Geisenheyner took the “slaves 4 sale” sign down Tuesday afternoon, saying his point had been made, but his neighbors told WDAF they hoped he would find another way to express himself in the future.
“If people called him a racist because he was flying the rebel flag and he wanted to make a statement and put up slaves for sale, well, I didn’t offend you, I haven’t called you a racist so you have got to think about the other people in the community,” said one woman who lives nearby.