Friday , October 13, 2017 - 6:35 PM12 comments
ROY — A sign hanging on a Roy home has caused quite a stir on 4800 South.
On Wednesday, Roy resident Kade Rogers put up what he said was a Halloween sign on his garage door that read, “Make America Great Again, Purge and Purify.”
Since then, Rogers said he’s received a number of death threats over Facebook, and people have been throwing objects and expletives toward him and his home.
The sign, Rogers said, was inspired by “The Purge” movies, a popular trilogy of horror films.
More specifically, the sign was meant to reference the most recent movie, “The Purge: Election Year.” Taglines for the movie, according to IMDb, include “Keep America Great,” “Purge for the People,” “Purge for the Power,” and “Purge for the Nation.”
“It’s not a racial statement, it’s a Halloween decoration,” Rogers said.
Neighbors told KUTV Thursday they thought the sign was “disturbing” and the people who lived there were “full of garbage”
In response to the backlash on social media and in person, Rogers replaced the original sign with a new one that directly quotes the movie’s tagline, rather than President Donald Trump’s famous slogan.
“If you think this is racist, I recommend you watch all three of the (Purge) movies,” Rogers said.
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As of Thursday afternoon, the sign and two American flags were the only decor on the house. Rogers said the sign is supposed to be one many decorations as part of The Purge-themed Halloween party for family and friends. He said the sign was the easiest to make and was the first decoration to go up. Rogers’ wife and friends were working on additional decorations Friday afternoon.
Rogers said he and others already have costumes ready for the get-together.
Law enforcement is aware of the sign, according to Roy Police Sgt. Matthew Gwynn, and he said it is not violating any city codes that he knew of.
“As far as I know, it’s not criminal or out of city code,” Gwynn said.
The Standard-Examiner filed a GRAMA request Friday to see how many, if any, complaints have been filed to the Roy Police Department regarding the sign. The request had not been fulfilled as of Friday afternoon.
Many of those on social media and the community have labeled Rogers as a racist and bigot, a claim he adamantly disputes.
“I am not a racist,” he said. Rogers added that he is “more than happy to talk and explain the sign as long as people are cordial,” something he said he’s already done several times with people in the community.
Friends and family echo this disposition, saying the sign has been blown out of proportion.
“We did not mean to offend anyone,” said Danielle Rogers, Kade’s wife. “We didn’t mean for it to be racial or political.”
Kade Rogers said despite the criticism, friends have voiced their support for the sign and said they might put up one of their own.
Rogers said he is sorry to anyone who finds the sign offensive and appreciates the concern, but added “I’m not taking it down.”
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