CEDAR CITY — A bumper sticker with a controversial message sold at an El Ray Plaza smoke shop in Utah’s Dixie has some people boycotting the retailer and calling for the sticker to be removed.
The shop owner said the sticker stays.
On a rotating shelf inside D&D’s Smokes and More, located at 435 N. Aviation Way, sits a variety of bumper stickers featuring the Confederate flag. Some of the flag-toting stickers read: “A bad day in the South is better than any day up North” and “American by birth, Southern by the Grace of God.” But the one that is causing the uproar reads: “If I would have known this I would have picked my own cotton.”
“I was kind of flabbergasted when I saw it, I was kind of speechless,” Rev. McLean, a customer of the store, said.
He noticed the new store on his way to work and has driven by it several times. On Saturday, he decided to go in, but never expected to see such a “blatantly racist” sticker on the shelf, McLean said.
“I think it’s unacceptable,” TJ Penrod, McLean’s friend, said.
McLean and Penrod said, overall, they both are not fans of Confederate flag memorabilia, but said this sticker in particular crossed the line.
“We brought in one bumper sticker and apparently a lot of people have a problem with it,” said Jeremiah Davis, co-owner of D&D Smokes and More.
The store carries a lot of history and heritage souvenirs, and memorabilia that appeal to their local customers, Davis said.
“It just a bumper sticker… it’s just sad to think that people would label us ‘racist’ or ‘bigot’… anyone who knows us knows that’s not who we are,” Davis said.
McLean took his outrage to social media and posted a picture of the sticker with a caption that reads: “New souvenir shop in Cedar City is…something else… #thisexistsinmytown #kindafeelingsick,”
His post was shared 45 times, as of Monday evening. Penrod shared the same photo and similar post, which was shared more than 100 times.
“We just want to start a conversation that this isn’t OK,” McLean said.
Davis said he’s received a lot of backlash about selling the sticker on social media, but wants people to know they “did not get it for any racial slur or situations,” he said.
If the commenters on social media would have approached him personally about their dissatisfaction with the sticker, then “I would remove it,” he said, but since he has received threats he said he will keep it on the shelf.
“I don’t want to see this in my community and I’m willing to stand up and take that as far as it needs to go,” Penrod said.