A Missouri man had a "Slaves 4 Sale" sign in front of his home before taking it down Tuesday. Richard Geisenheyner, who lives in the Kansas City suburb of Liberty, placed the sign above a Confederate flag.
Geisenheyner claims that he is not racist.
Geisenheyner reportedly hung the sign as a political statement because of the negative reactions neighbors have given him over his Confederate battle flag. However, he defended his initial decision to display the sign for neighbors and passersby to see. He cited the stigmatized meaning behind the flag as a reason for him to behave "stupid."
"If people actually believe that a Confederate flag stands for slavery, well, I might as well be just as stupid as they are," Geisenheyner told WDAF-TV, a Fox affiliate in Kansas City, Wednesday. "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."
Geisenheyner claimed that if he were to follow through with selling slaves, then he would have to sell his own grandchildren. His grandchildren are biracial.
The sign was met with criticism from Geisenheyner's neighbors. They expressed hope that he would find a different outlet to release his frustrations.
An unidentified neighbor told WDAF-TV, "His rebel flag don't have a damn thing to do with me, wave it all you want. This idiot with his slaves for sale, are you fricking kidding me?" A woman who lived nearby said, "you have got to think about the other people in the community."
Since the Civil War, the Confederate flag has remained a highly divisive symbol, promoting racial tension and historic injustice. The flag has also been adopted by many hate groups, like the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). However, there are still many who see it as a historical flag worth honoring.
The flag and related statutes, to this day, have caused a divide among Americans. An MSN poll surveyed 874,000 readers to determine their thoughts on Confederate monuments. MSN reported in August that 71 percent of Democrats advocated for the removal of Confederate statues, whereas 87 percent of Republicans disagreed.