In response to criticism for flying a Confederate flag, a Liberty man hung a sign above the flag that read, “SLAVES 4 SALE,” written in black on a wooden board.
Richard Geisenheyner said he is not a racist and had posted the sign to reject the label that others had given him.
Community members in his neighborhood near the Liberty plaza were disgusted by the sign, Fox 4 reported.
But Geisenheyner defended it, even after he took it down Tuesday. “If I’d be selling slaves, I’d have to sell one of my grandchildren,” he told Fox 4, which reported the man has biracial grandchildren.
Though he said he hung the sign in reaction to being called a racist after flying his Confederate flag, it’s unclear how the sign contradicts the label.
Steve Plowman, who lives near Geisenheyner, said he hasn’t seen the sign but he was appalled by its message upon learning about it.
“I think it’s wrong, very wrong,” Plowman said. “I think somebody needs to have a serious talk with him.”
Some wrote scathing reactions to the sign online.
“ ‘If they think I’m racist, I’m going to act like I am.’ Smooth,” wrote Pete Turner.
Beverly Jean Butts said the sign was ridiculous and racist.
Added Rich and Julie McGurn on a shared Facebook account: “I dislike it when people claim they’re not racist because they have black grandchildren or black friends.”
Patricia Stiefer called the sign shameful.
Grant Hemenway defended the sign, writing on Facebook that “People take things too seriously. He doesn’t have slave for sale, people’s butts hurt too much.”
Geisenheyner added that he flies the Confederate flag as an anti-government symbol.
“It is for people that are tired of the government telling them what to do and what to think. That is what a Southern rebel is,” he told Fox 4. “If people actually believe that a Confederate flag stands for slavery, well, I might as well be just as stupid as they are.”