A Georgia Civil War and Confederate memorabilia shop that closed down after the owner died has been reopened, WSB-TV reports. The reopening has prompted a local city councilman to resign and a local business owner to relocate.
Wildman’s Civil War Surplus, which sells KKK merchandise and has a Confederate museum, is now being managed by Marjorie Lyon, who said the store has an "array of relics, artifacts, reference material. It’s not just on the Klan, it’s not just on the Confederacy."
Kennesaw City Councilman James "Doc" Eaton "got so fed up" with the reopening that he resigned from his position, according to Fox 5 Atlanta.
"They did it legal, but there was one main component they left out, the moral component. In this day and time it's just not acceptable," said Eaton.
As WSB-TV points out, a number of items in the store depict Black people in a derogatory way, "including balls of African American hair placed next to a box of picked cotton" -- items that Lyon says are just a joke. In regards to the other items in the store, Lyon says they're just part of history.
Cris Welsh, who is the owner of Eaton Chiropractic in Kennesaw, disagrees.
“My husband always said if that were a strip club they would be handling this. What is in that building is more despicable than what would happen in a strip club. It’s disgusting,” Welsh said.
“If that business is going to stay… in my heart I can’t and I have spent 20 years on that corner,” said Welsh.
The city manager of Kennesaw, Dr. Jeff Drobney, said he has "taken precise steps to ensure that this business complied with all city codes and ordinances every step of the way."
“We treat all businesses the same, we don’t advocate for a business nor do we denigrate a business. They are legally entitled to have a business license and to be open and operational, that’s how we view it. We do not take sides.”