“That flag represents that you are a racist pig! That stands for hate! Hate!” the woman yelled toward Kelsey Hayes’ front yard.
“There’s no room in America for hate…and people like you do not belong in my neighborhood!”
Hayes has attracted that sort of reaction in recent days after raising a KKK flag just below a Confederate flag in his front yard — not to mention the “Members Wanted” sign on his white picket fence and the noose that hangs from a tree.
But the negative reaction hasn’t affected the unemployed man who lives with his wife in a West Boca Raton, Fla., trailer home.
“They’re entitled to their free speech as well as I am,” Hayes told WTVJ-TV in Miami.
Hayes apparently does more than use his property for free expression. His business card indicates Hayes recruits for the Knights Party of the Ku Klux Klan, according to WFLX-TV in West Palm Beach, which added that some neighbors said Hayes has attempted to influence children with conversations and literature, in addition to his front-yard visuals.
Margaret Martin, who recently moved into to a nearby residence, according to WFLX — told WFOR-TV in Miami that she’s one of the only black people in the neighborhood and is “worried.”
“Is he gonna burn a cross on my yard?” Martin asked. “You gotta be sick to do something like that. Or you want attention.”
“If I wanted attention, I’d drop my drawers and run down the street,” Hayes told WTVJ on Wednesday. “I don’t care about other people’s opinions.”
Martin said she has compassion for Hayes despite the images he’s displaying.
“I’m a Christian,” she told WFOR. “I pray for people. I’m gonna pray real hard for him.”
Hayes has indicated he raises the flags every morning and takes them down every night as part of his “patriotic duty,” he told WTVJ, adding that he has no intentions of stopping.
When a WFOR reporter asked Hayes what message he’s sending to the community, Hayes denied there was any.
“The same thing when the Puerto Rican flies his flag,” Hayes told the station. “He’s proud of his heritage. I’m proud of mine.”
“It’s nothing, it doesn’t mean anything, we’re not hurtful,” his wife, Susan Curley, told WTVJ about the KKK flag.
But the Anti-Defamation League told WTVJ Curley’s statement is hogwash.
“This is a flag that specifically represents a terrorist group in the United States, the oldest terrorist group in the United States, and we know what their history is representative of,” organization representative Robert Tanen told WTVJ. “Hanging a noose in front of his front yard? It’s very clear that that is an intimidation symbol for the African-American community.”
And about that noose, Hayes seemed to attempt some comedy.
“That’s because I don’t have a big tree in my back yard to hang it from,” Hayes told WTVJ. “Just a prop, just an ornament for my lawn…it doesn’t symbolize anything.”
A sheriff’s deputy talked to Hayes Wednesday while the president of the nearby homeowners’ association called code enforcement, but said there’s little that can be done about the display.
“It’s perfectly legal to put out any kind of flag you want,” Nick Scalice told WTVJ.
Still, neighbors insist the flag represents hatred, violence and racism and needs to go away.
“I think it’s horrible,” Roseanne Areces told WFOR. “I think it’s disgusting and I think it should be taken down.”
“It’s reminding me of back in the old days,” Martin told WTVJ. “And I didn’t think that was still going on anymore. You know, this is 2014.”
Curly told WTVJ that she’s heard other people drive by the house she shares with Hayes and yell “white power.”
In a bizarre twist, another prop is displayed inside one of Hayes’ trailer windows.
The block letters spell “Love.”