A Missouri man angered his neighbors by posting a “Slaves 4 Sale” sign right above his Confederate flag.
Richard Geisenheyner’s rationale for the racist sign next to the racist flag is a little bizarre: He wanted to show that he’s no racist.
Geisenheyner regularly flies a Confederate flag in front of his home in Liberty, Missouri. As a result, many people have assumed that he is a white supremacist and that makes him angry.
“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 Kansas City TV station WDAF.
Geisenheyner, who reportedly has biracial grandchildren, insists that he flies the Confederate flag to make a political statement that has nothing to do with supporting slavery at all.
“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.”
Not surprisingly, Geisenheyner’s neighbors don’t agree with the hanging of the sign or the reasoning behind it. Steve Plowman told the Kansas City Star that he was appalled by his neighbor’s message.
“I think it’s wrong, very wrong,” Plowman said. “I think somebody needs to have a serious talk with him.”
Other neighbors told WDAF that the flag and the “Slaves 4 Sale” sign were offensive reminders of the pre-civil rights era.
“I remember the signs on the wall that says ‘White only.’ I am that old,” one neighbor who asked not to be identified told the station. “I remember the signs on the wall that says ‘Negroes only entrance here.’”
An unidentified woman who also lives near Geisenheyner thought he should be more empathetic toward others.
“I haven’t called you a racist so you have got to think about the other people in the community,” she said.
Luckily, for every person like Geisenheyner who tries to argue that Confederate flags and monuments are simply historical artifacts or symbols of anti-government protest, there is someone like New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu.
Back in May, Landrieu shredded the “Civil War was about states’ rights, not slavery” argument with a powerful speech.
“These statues are not just stone and metal,” Landrieu told a crowd at New Orleans’ Gallier Hall. “They are not just innocent remembrances of a benign history. These monuments purposefully celebrate a fictional, sanitized Confederacy, ignoring the death, ignoring the enslavement and the terror that it actually stood for.”
On Tuesday, Geisenheyner took down the “Slaves 4 Sale” sign, telling WDAF that his point had been made.
His neighbors likely hope he finds a different way to express himself in the future.