Protesters Want Wildman’s Confederate Memorabilia Out of Kennesaw

protestors with signs across from Wildmans in KennesawProtesters gather across the street from Wildman's in Kennesaw to speak out against racism (photo by Megan Butler)

Dozens of protesters gathered in downtown Kennesaw on Friday afternoon to express disfavor with the Wildman’s civil war surplus store.

The nearly 50-year-old store has sparked much controversy over its confederate flags hanging outside along with its many purchasable, Jim-Crow era items that derogatorily depict African-Americans and the Ku Klux Klan mask that is held on display with a noose around its neck.

Two students from Kennesaw State University, Josiah Roebuck and Adam Ashley organized the protest to encourage people to make changes in their communities by voting in local elections.

“The only thing that we can do is vote and put people in power that won’t justify what they are doing at Wildman’s,” said Ashley. “If you don’t like this then you need to go out and do something to get it out of your community. Burning things down just makes everything worse.”

The front of Wild Man's civil war surplus store in downtown Kennesaw.
The front of Wild Man’s civil war surplus store in downtown Kennesaw (photo by Megan Butler)

After marching and chanting around the sidewalks downtown, the protesters stood across the street from Wildman’s and played Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech on a speaker followed by a moment of silence to mourn the death of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner and other African Americans killed by police officers.

Since Floyd, an unarmed African-American man, died in custody of Minneapolis police on May 25, protests have emerged nation-wide against police brutality.

As a result, the responsible officer, Derek Chauvin, was charged with second-degree murder and the other three officers involved were later charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.

However, protesters across the country continue to speak out against systemic racism and call for better policing.

Kennesaw Chief of police, Bill Westenberger, shows his support of peaceful protesting and promises more transparency
Kennesaw Chief of police, Bill Westenberger, expresses his support for peaceful protesting and promises more transparency (photo by Megan Butler)

Kennesaw police chief, Bill Westenberger, spoke with the protestors downtown to address their questions and concerns. He said that he is striving for more transparency within the department and wants officers to have more positive interactions with the community.

“There needs to be more dialogue and more action from our community to work together to make a difference in what’s happening in our world,” said Westenberger. “I am sympathetic with your perspective – I have ears open and I want to hear and listen and I want to do my part from my seat to take action.”

Westenberger says that although he does not personally agree with Wildman’s, the store is not in violation of the law.

One protestor said that he relates the desire to close down the store with Germany’s ban on Nazi symbols other than inside museums.

“It should be the same for America regarding the Confederacy and the confederate flag,” said Igbagbo Mobolaji. “It belongs in a museum as something that we came from and have moved passed. We should learn about it as history and not as memorabilia that can be bought from a store.”

Wildman’s owner, 89-year-old Dent Myers, emerged from inside the store to tell reporters that he believes his wares and displays are solely history and that he doesn’t find them to be racist.

Kennesaw resident and employee at Wildman’s, Margorie Lyon, was angered by the protests.

“They’re hypocrites in my opinion. I just have to bless their hearts,” said Lyon. “That is selfish, stupidity in my opinion. They are publicly embarrassing themselves. This is all for glory and to have their five minutes of fame. If you focus on oppression or negativity that’s all you’re ever gonna see.”

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35 Comments on "Protesters Want Wildman’s Confederate Memorabilia Out of Kennesaw"

  1. Yes I have asked politicians in Kennesaw to do something significant about the wild man “museum” and basically .. they say he is an old man and will die soon and that will be the end of his type of store. I find the store a total eye sore and an embarrassment for the community . He should be closed down and sell his ugly stuff on eBay .. not somewhere so visible. Time to end the attitudes from past history .. or he can just give his stuff to the museum across the street .. old relics from a bygone era.

  2. Comment relating to choices Germany made, this is not Germany if you like their laws better move, closing this 50 yr old store will not change history of Cival War, and this type of thought could very well be the beginning of another war. Just don’t visit, don’t shop, make your choices, but not choices for others

  3. Need to do more. Look at this
    http://chng.it/sjSkNDZJxJ
    It’s an attempt to take down the biggest embarrassment to Ga

  4. Charlotte Kirk | June 6, 2020 at 9:56 pm | Reply

    Technically Wildman’s in downtown Kennesaw is a museum. He has a small museum in the back of his store with a small admission fee. Inside the store are also pictures of Dent Myers with prominent civil rights leaders. I guess they weren’t offended .

  5. Good for wild man Bill. He is right. The protesters go to his store during every racial protest season, which just happens to coincide with the election season. These protestors are nothing but pawns for the democratic party who have done nothing more than enslave them more since the civil war.

  6. a septuagenarian | June 7, 2020 at 11:37 am | Reply

    When gangs of people are forcing prople to bow down to them in the steets is no time to erase the history of what these kind of actions and emotions can lead to.

  7. Today’s youth are attempting to eradicate history with which they disagree. They are using their FIRST Amendment rights to protest and demand the closure of a store that sells items they don’t like. However, they don’t consider the fact that Mr. Myers ALSO has Constitutional rights to operate his store and sell his merchandise. When one group wants to exercise a right to block another’s right, then they are WRONG.

  8. Not applied for | June 7, 2020 at 1:16 pm | Reply

    How you gonna want to take it down now, versus the past years. If you don’t like seeing it don’t look at it. It’s that simple.
    No one had an issue with it before, now all y’all want it removed.

    • Alec Whispers | June 7, 2020 at 3:28 pm | Reply

      I’m sure people have had a problem with his garbage store long before June 2020. You remind me of the whites that were “shocked” that Black people had a problem with segregation prior to the 1960s.

      Just because you weren’t listening doesn’t mean they weren’t bothered.

  9. Alec Whispers | June 7, 2020 at 3:26 pm | Reply

    It is legal for this man to operate his traitor ware store. Stop bothering politicians with your complaints. He’s 89, either ailments or mortality means that within the decade the store will probably be shuttered.

  10. Don’t go in the store if it offends you. Where does this stop?
    I don’t like rap “music” That’s why I don’t buy it, but I’m not demanding it be abolished.

  11. Doug Markham | June 7, 2020 at 9:22 pm | Reply

    Keep your business open Wild Man. It is your private business. More than likely the majority of protestors can’t tell you what happened at Kennesaw Mountain during the Atlanta Campaign and its significance to the Civil War.

  12. Reggie Owens | June 8, 2020 at 12:24 am | Reply

    I find the black entertainment television network racist and offensive, and the TV show “Blackish”, and the NAACP. Whites are becoming the minority in this country.Wheres white history month or white entrainment television? White privilege my a**.

  13. One of the ugliest places I ever seen.
    It deserves to be closed and replaced with any better business on Main Street.
    I am embarassed every time I drive by, avoid any businesses on Downtown by association with that place. We have Museum on another side of street to represent Georgia history and Kennesaw.

  14. Harvey Bodine | June 8, 2020 at 9:55 am | Reply

    I love it! You a-holes protesting an old man who has been quietly running his business for longer than any of you have been alive? Did any of you by any chance notice you were protesting on the property of a museum that glorifies a Confederate victory with a Confederate train engine as it’s main attraction. Seems kinda hypocritical to me. But then again most of you were only there for your Facebook and/or YouTube account. Needed some new content so you decided to create it. GO HOME! If I remember straight Dent Meyers didn’t put his knee on anybody’s neck. But, I guess that doesn’t make for a cool Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram posting. F’ing posers.

  15. Patrick E Carroll | June 8, 2020 at 1:06 pm | Reply

    Per the Headline, I imagine Wildman would like the protesters out of Kennesaw. Although this is great advertising for him. They probably put him in a higher tax bracket. Few if any are from Kennesaw and most are white. I guess they don’t want their dorm burnt down so here they are picking on Dent. Hysterical to see dozens of white kids protesting in Kennesaw. They missed a great opportunity to sell tickets, it would be like going to the zoo.

  16. Christopher terry | June 8, 2020 at 3:26 pm | Reply

    That is bullshit, leave the man alone.You guys are racist Stereotyping .you guys doing the same thing. Pointing one certain type of group out.Who’s the racist now

    • Still you. Anyone who sells racist memorabilia has motive other than educating. It’s amazing how much worth you see in a history of horrors. It just goes to show your pride is more important than doing the right thing.

      • I think the difference comes into freedom of speech here and difference of opinions. He does not believe it is racist. There is a large group in the United States, including history teachers and professors that do not think of it as racist. There are blacks that fly the confederate flag, but are they racist too? There comes a time where everyone has to remember that EVERYONE is entitled to their own opinions. Whether we all like it or not. You do not have the right to tell that man what he can and can not sell, say, do, or really anything. Just as he does not have that right to make anyone else believe his way. Your right thing may not be what others think is the right thing.

  17. You old racist b*stards have another thing coming if you think he can keep this dirt hole store open. Eat shit!

    • Is that a threat then? Being hateful to someone that did nothing except run a store for over 40 years, help his community, and welcome anyone and everyone in his store with open arms and thoughts makes YOU the b*. Not the other way around. You are entitled to your opinions, but you can not force your opinions, thoughts, or beliefs on someone else! You do not have the power to take away someone else’s freedoms because you are offended by it.

      • You do realize we all know he is in the KKK and that’s why this store that has almost zero patrons stays open, It’s a giant laundering scheme and not just rumor. I grew up with this man and the one that used to run the General they are all cowards. They used to organize KKK recruitment rallies at the local high schools from Kennesaw up to Ellijay through the 80s and 90s.

  18. Chris thinkaboutit | June 9, 2020 at 8:30 am | Reply

    This store represents nothing but hate and evil. They sell KKK uniforms in it. Anyone who supports this store is a racist. The only history here is slavery. And they want you to remember the hate they had for blacks.

  19. The lady Margorie Lyon needs a hard reality check herself. I would love to meet with her face to face and understand why they she believes the protesters are “hypocrites”? Please tell me how the fuck we are hypocrites? Also you say we are protesting for 5 minutes of fame? Unarmed Black men and women are being killed by white cops for no reason! You saw we protesters are “embarrassing themselves”?bitch YOU are embarrassing yourself by even being associated with that racist POS! Both of y’all will rot in hell. I will stand outside the store every single day and make your life hell. You are a fat piece of shit Margorie Lyon!

    • Locals have rights | June 13, 2020 at 10:27 am | Reply

      Instead of being hateful, which I assume you are protesting (hypocrites), why don’t you protest blacks killing blacks? Leave our history and statues alone Hater and go back to the rock you crawled out of

    • Ms. Whitmer –
      My apology for the long response time. I work everyday for a living which leaves me little time to troll the internet for non-sense.
      HYPOCRITE: the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform; pretense.

      PEOPLE regardless of race, religion, creed etc have died at the hands of dirty cops, thugs, MOBS, murders, period. The fact that you all label specific colors/flavors of folks make you a hypocrite. Oh wait, the term is actually bigot.
      BIGOT: a person who is intolerant toward those holding different opinions.

      Anyone who disrespects themselves by shouting out vulgar profanity filled chants non stop out on the streets of the town are an embarrassment to themselves and the town.
      Lastly, my dear woman, thank you kindly for noticing my 5 pound weight gain though your computer. Those size 6 pants are starting to get a bit snug.
      Bless your heart.

    • Hate breeds hatred. Gear your anger and frustrations to the people that can make a real change and you may not be labeled as looking for 5 minutes of fame. Take your anger and frustrations, minus the vulgarity, and go to those that make laws and policies. Have your voice heard in a way that ensure other’s do not die at the hands of crooked cops! Help fix the broken system instead of screaming vulgarity and attacking others that do not think the same way as you.
      Calling other people name’s is your right to do, but you are spreading negativity and hatred about someone you do not even know. If I were to come to the street with a cause only to boycott you and your beliefs, not try to understand what you are saying or your point before doing so, and just screamed all day the same thing over and over about how you are the worst piece of crap in the world. How would that feel? Would you feel that I am pointless and trying to get 5 minutes of fame?
      There are two sides to every story, you might want to open your eyes and your heart to your fellow citizens and you could very well find your answer.

  20. Locals have rights | June 13, 2020 at 10:15 am | Reply

    People may have forgotten or left out that Dent was instrumental to bringing the “General “ to the museum there in Kennesaw. Protesters need to spread their hate elsewhere and go away. This is a needed part of the community. Too bad more shops like this don’t exist.

  21. There is no place for this sign of division and hatred in Kennesaw. There are students from Georgia and out of state that find this appalling . You cannot have it both ways . A diverse safe community , University #5 in the state and allow this One person to ruin a community . IT is not history !

    • The only hatred and division I have ever seen in Kennesaw has come from leftist, progressive socialist. Dent is a kind and quiet man and welcomes anyone in his store. Is there some ugly stuff in his store? Yes, but guess what, HISTORY IS UGLY, and it’s good to be reminded of that.

  22. I challenge all of you demanding Wildman’s to be closed to find me one person of any race whose life was hindered by that store existing. Just like all these statues being torn down, I’ll guarantee that 99% do not know who the person is or what they did.

  23. Concerned Citizen | June 18, 2020 at 8:25 am | Reply

    I am all for justice for those mistreated, killed, and racially profiled across the United States. I am for helping the world increase the good and decreases the bad, but please explain to me how trying to take an elderly man’s first amendment rights away from him is justice? We ALL have the freedom to speak our minds, but our constitution does not give anyone the right to take away someone else’s freedom.
    Is the history he portrays in this store ugly? Is it right that this country was build on taking other people’s things and enslaving individuals to get there? No. It is not, but that store and all of the history provides a reminder of exactly what we DON’T want happening again!! I would think that instead of protesting what happened in the past and things that CAN NOT be changed, why doesn’t everyone band together and protest the people who make laws and policies? Send letters and protest those that allow dirty cops to kill someone or blatantly mistreat their power position and then go back to work like nothing happened! That is the problem you are all supposedly trying to fix, so why not go to the source?
    I have met Dent and Marjorie and they are both loving people who will bend over backwards to help anyone and everyone that comes to them. Instead of hatred, why don’t we love thy neighbor, take the time to understand why our fellow citizens feel the way they do, and understand each other. Wouldn’t that help bridge the gap? Understanding and truth instead of hate. If you look at the history just in the United States, it is evident that you can not stop hate with hate. I think everyone needs to read and hear the history of the country again to see that there may be a better way to help fix this issue. Gear your anger and outrage to the channels that will make the change and you each could make a true and real difference in this world.

  24. Despite the clearly obnoxious nature of the goods for sale, there is no way the government can shut down a private business simply because the subject matter is odious. The First Amendment prohibits government from politically motivated censorship. The subject matter is not “pornography” as usually defined – although I personally find it reprehensible and a relic of an age of racism and prejudice that can’t pass too soon.

  25. Regarding the “protesters”: using my best Cartman imitation voice… “Screw you puzzies”

  26. So interesting the “small, uneducated people “, are you folk that support this racist “store”, Google reviews and the fact there’s less of you “losers”, (by definition, seeing you lost the war you represent so hard), You need a KKK hood and robe? That’s the spot.
    I’d advise you too remove the flag representing Africa (Lybia, Kenya, Ghana, Malawi), of which donot in anyway belong in your racist, losing collection.You have no reason to be so blatantly disrespectful.
    Disrespectfully,
    I Said What I Said

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