Statue of Kansas abolitionist defaced with racial slurs, swastika
© KCTV 5 News

A statue of a famous Kansas abolitionist has been vandalized with racial slurs and a swastika.

The Kansas City Star reported that a swastika had been drawn on the forehead of the John Brown statue located near the Quindaro Townsite ruins of Kansas City.

The word "Satan" was written on its beard. A racial slur was also written on the memorial, according to the Star.

Historian Fred Whitehead called it a "sickening sight." 

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"There are racists and Nazis still around. It suggests that John Brown provokes a visceral reaction in these people," he told the Star.

Whitehead filed a report with the police about the vandalization.

The community of Quindaro, a free-state port for abolitionists, was also the location of the first African-American university west of the Mississippi River, according to the Star. The school, Western University, closed in the 1940s.

Kansas historian Patrick Sumner called the memorial a "very important statue which was put together by the people of Quindaro."

"It should be recognized and respected," he said, "instead of defaced."

In the past, there has been controversy over the removal of Confederate monuments in cities across the country.