By David McCormack
A businessman in suburban Detroit is under fire from unhappy neighbours after hanging a Confederate flag and nooses at his two properties in the area.
Robert Tomanovich, who owns Robert’s Discount Tree Service in Livonia, Michigan, first hung a noose from a tree and a Confederate flag, printed with the slogan ‘I ain’t coming down,’ on a fence at his home.
When neighbours complained, a second noose appeared on a tree outside his tree-cutting business which operates at a second property on the same street.
Tomanovich, 55, has denied his actions are racist, although an employee has admitted that the second noose was a deliberate move to antagonise locals.
‘One hundred fifty years after Abraham Lincoln’s death, we are still going through this kind of atrocities. A hangman’s noose and a Confederate flag?’ neighbor Mary Greer told WXYZ.
Another local complained that at least one of the nooses was hung from a tree small enough for a young child to climb.
When the local TV network attempted to speak to Tomanovich on Friday he refused, although his wife Lindy tried to explain the noose as a tribute to a dead friend.
‘Robert has a friend that died in that way (hanging himself), and that’s in memory of his friend,’ she told WXYZ. ‘There’s no crime in hanging a noose.’
An unnamed employee was quick to take credit for the noose at Tomanovich’s business. ‘Screw ’em… We’re gonna put more up,’ he said.