KENNESAW — Calling him an outdated relic who needs to close his Civil War shop and “go away,” nearly 100 demonstrators gathered downtown Friday to protest Dent Myers’ “attitudes” they say make minority residents feel unwelcome.

The group — mostly high school and university students and a few adults — filled a small park across from the shop known as Wildman’s Civil War Surplus on Main Street. Myers owns the store and the building that has housed his controversial shop for more than 40 years. The protesters urged city officials to call for the closure of the store, which displays Confederate antiques and books, as well as a decades-old Ku Klux Klan robe displayed in the back.

Scores of protesters chanted “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Wildman’s has got to go” as cars passed through the busy intersection.

“He’s an embarrassment to this town, and he needs to close up and go away. Cobb County is better than that,” said Parker Quigley of Smyrna, one of the protesters. “We want Cobb County to be for everybody, and many of my black and Hispanic friends said they don’t feel welcome when they see the flags flying here. It gives off the wrong message. I don’t know him personally, but his store gives the impression that he keeps racism alive. I would love to see it all go to a museum where we can learn about it in the right context and not shove it in everyone’s faces.”

Jamie Forsyth, 17, said Myers should be “humiliated” and claimed the store owner “won’t pay attention to what’s going on around the country.

“Just get rid of it all. I don’t give a f- — about that history. It wouldn’t bother me to see the place burn to the ground,” the Acworth resident added during Friday’s protest.

Myers, 89, arrived at his store several hours earlier than usual Friday out of concern about threats to set fire to his business.

“From that social media stuff, I heard folks want to burn this place up,” he said.

Myers and several close friends watched from the building’s second floor porch as the crowd gathered below.

He viewed the protest with a sense of humor.

“Most of them haven’t even been inside this place. They’re only repeating what they’ve been told to say,” he said.

The protest was organized by two Kennesaw State University students. The crowd denounced police brutality and what they said is rapidly increasing racism and racial profiling by police departments across the country.

Kennesaw Police Dept. Chief Bill Westenberger met for more than 30 minutes with the crowd, explaining his department’s continuing training for officers.

“I sincerely understand the need to be heard. I’m glad we have the platform for them to be heard, and for us to have an ongoing discussion. We want everyone to understand that we don’t allow racism in our department, and that’s the prevailing message I was able to share with them,” Westenberger said.

Frederick Saunders of Acworth urged a boycott of other stores along Main Street until Myers is forced to close his shop, claiming Myers has been a foundation of hate for decades.

“You have a business on Main Street that promotes straight hatred, but the other businesses ignore it. It’s the elephant in the room,” he said.

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(15) comments

Karl Hansen

wow - can't post a c omment b/c of censorship. way to go! r a c i s t s !

Martin Mix

I don't understand why the protestors think they have a right to stifle speech with which they don't agree. I don't understand who they want to shut down the store. If they're trying to compel Dent to close of his own volition, good luck, but if they're looking for the government to step in, they're asking for censorship. Freedom only works if we allow those with views that we find unsavory to have the same freedoms as the rest of us. I may find things Dent says disgusting, but I'll fight to the death for his right to say them. That used to be a common refrain. Unfortunately, today, so many people want a singular point of view from everyone, so long as that point of view agrees with theirs. Sad

Eric Merriweather

You said everything I was about to say. Well said 👏

Mike Nelson

Young liberal kids, the picture of the Democratic Party. If you don’t agree with them your a racist.

Johanna Williams

Liberal socialist democrats respect everyone's rights and viewpoints, as long as you agree with their radical far left agenda.

Cobb Salad

Dent is a sweet guy. I’ve had many delightful conversations with him and his girlfriend, who happens to be black.

Johanna Williams

I bet if you asked these "protestors" what happened today, June 6th, in 1944, not a single one them would know the significance of today's date. Their liberal professors never told them that they have the right to "protest," because of what brave men did on June 6, 1944.

Cj Myers

[whistling] These children will be back in school soon. Over..done..Goodbye! It's just history...but if they want to live fear in the past..well that is a sad life. It's free publicly for the owner!

richard plent

I would rather have a sex shop in East Cobb than a shop honoring traitor history in Cobb.

Johanna Williams

@richard plent

Given a choice, would you prefer a liquor store or a sex shop?

David Holland

This pisses me off! The residents of this town and county should stand up for him. He doesnt harm anyone and is very friendly. He is not racist at all, and he has a consitutional right just like any AMERICAN, WHICH IS FREEDOM OF SPEECH! People like it or not that is our FREEDOM OF SPEECH! He has had this shop for decades and not once had any protest against any nationality against any race. Whether people like it or not the stuff he has in his store is HISTORY, NOT HATE OR RACISM!!! If you dont like it turn the CHEEK!

David Holland

This pisses me off! The residents of this town and county should stand up for him. He doesnt harm anyone and is very friendly. He is not racist at all, and he has a consitutional right just like any AMERICAN, WHICH IS FREEDOM OF SPEECH! People like it or not that is our FREEDOM OF SPEECH! He has had this shop for decades and not once had any protest against any nationality against any race. Whether people like it or not the stuff he has in his store is HISTORY, NOT HATE OR RACISM!!! If you dont like it turn the CHEEK!

KC Lemmons

Noticed - majority are High School and College kids. And Some Adults.... Young People - know your history!!! Most of the protesters didn’t even know where this place was even located.... What happened to Freedom of Speech? Or, does that only apply to the ones who want to take away the rights of others for their own gain? Stop this petty BS! If you don’t like something then Walk Away - that is Your right.... It’s NOT your right to take away something else’s Freedom. And For The Love of Pete!!!! READ YOUR HISTORY BOOKS - and stop this ridiculous nonsense!!

Wayne Thomas

AMEN

Sirhc Sivad

Does anybody actually buy anything at this store? I wouldn't think many. Two pronged approach, #1- Act like abortion protesters outside the clinic and plead with customers not to do it. #2- Collect the money to buy him out

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