Free tattoos cover up hate in mid-MIssouri

3 months 2 weeks 2 days ago Wednesday, October 31 2018 Oct 31, 2018 Wednesday, October 31, 2018 5:51:00 PM CDT October 31, 2018 in News
By: Abby Dodge, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

MACON – Beauty and Pain Tattoo put out a call on Facebook for anyone with a racist tattoo to come in and see the artists at the shop.

“We don’t want to talk about or judge the past, we want to go from that day and move forward,” tattoo artist Star Zamora said.

The first person to take the artists up on their offer didn’t want to share his real name, or show his face. From this point forward we will refer to him as John Smith out of respect for his safety.

Smith has multiple tattoos on different parts of his body that are offensive to certain groups of people. The first tattoo he covered up was on his right arm.

“It’s a Celtic cross, or you could call it a rounded Celtic cross and it has 14-88, very poorly done around it,” Smith said.

To the uninitiated, this tattoo would not have a deeper meaning, but the numbers are where the problem lies.

The number 14 represents a 14-word phrase: We must secure the existence of our race and the future for white children.The 8-8 below the cross stands for the eighth letter of the alphabet, “H,” or “Heil Hitler.”

Smith has had these tattoos for a very long time.

“A lot of years ago I took to running with the wrong, as they say the ‘wrong crowd.’ I ran around with some pretty hard characters,” he said. “Just like anything you can be taught. You can be taught to be good. You can be taught to be Christian. You can be taught to hate people.”

For Smith, the same is true for being taught kindness and acceptance. He said the tattoos all over his body simply don’t reflect who he is today.

“These could be here for the rest of my life and it’s still not going to effect who I am,” Smith said. “This is just something I want covered and it’s for me. I want it gone.”

Smith’s biggest influence now is his family.

“They give me a reason to go on,” Smith said. “They give me a reason to be better and that’s what I’m going to do, be better.”

Smith has three children, and, while they haven’t directly asked what his tattoos mean, he thinks it’s time to move on from his past.

“One thing about taking them off me is that I don’t have to explain myself anymore,” Smith said. “It gets old and tiresome and people are judgmental by nature.”

The tattoo of a peace sign will slowly fade into his cross over time.

Jeremy Ellis is the tattoo artist that covered up Smith’s tattoo. He said it’s his way of giving back.

“If you have a platform to use and you have a way of making a positive change in other people’s lives or a community as a whole, why should you feel that you need to get paid to do so,” Ellis said.  

Fellow artist Star Zamora came up with the idea to offer free tattoo cover-ups.

Zamora said it’s hard to take a step in the right direction when you have markings of the past.

“You get rid of that and they can truly be their new person and not keep falling back, thinking about how they were in the past,” Zamora said. “They see it when they put on their clothes or look in the mirror or things like that.”

Smith still has a number of tattoos he is planning to cover.

“I see myself, I’ve just progressed forward, never backwards,” Smith said. “I see it as a better me, new and improved.”

More News

Grid
List
SARCOXIE, Mo. (AP) — The Jasper County prosecutor on Thursday charged a 23-year-old English teacher at Sarcoxie High School with... More >>
3 hours ago Friday, February 15 2019 Feb 15, 2019 Friday, February 15, 2019 9:56:18 PM CST February 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Battle High School's Girls Wrestling team will make history by competing in the first high school girls state... More >>
4 hours ago Friday, February 15 2019 Feb 15, 2019 Friday, February 15, 2019 8:56:00 PM CST February 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The first snow system is coming to an end and two more are on the way in less... More >>
4 hours ago Friday, February 15 2019 Feb 15, 2019 Friday, February 15, 2019 8:25:00 PM CST February 15, 2019 in Weather
COLUMBIA - Despite the treacherous conditions, some people have no choice but to drive in weather like Friday's. "My... More >>
6 hours ago Friday, February 15 2019 Feb 15, 2019 Friday, February 15, 2019 6:48:00 PM CST February 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — The Humane Society of Missouri rescued 21 dogs and 21 cats from a property in western Missouri Friday.... More >>
7 hours ago Friday, February 15 2019 Feb 15, 2019 Friday, February 15, 2019 5:42:00 PM CST February 15, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Another winter blast hit Missouri Friday, causing multiple accidents, closing schools and leaving highway experts... More >>
8 hours ago Friday, February 15 2019 Feb 15, 2019 Friday, February 15, 2019 4:03:00 PM CST February 15, 2019 in Top Stories
CALLAWAY COUNTY - A traffic stop for following too close led to troopers seizing oxycodone, THC wax, shatter, a product... More >>
9 hours ago Friday, February 15 2019 Feb 15, 2019 Friday, February 15, 2019 3:04:00 PM CST February 15, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — Ameren Missouri said several thousand jobs will be created as part of an effort to upgrade its... More >>
11 hours ago Friday, February 15 2019 Feb 15, 2019 Friday, February 15, 2019 1:49:00 PM CST February 15, 2019 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA – The cold weather doesn't just affect road conditions, but fuel economy as well. According to the U.S Department... More >>
11 hours ago Friday, February 15 2019 Feb 15, 2019 Friday, February 15, 2019 1:48:00 PM CST February 15, 2019 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump and border security (all times local): 2:33 p.m. President... More >>
11 hours ago Friday, February 15 2019 Feb 15, 2019 Friday, February 15, 2019 1:43:00 PM CST February 15, 2019 in News
CAMDENTON (AP) — The parents of two suburban Kansas City victims of a Lake of the Ozarks boat crash have... More >>
11 hours ago Friday, February 15 2019 Feb 15, 2019 Friday, February 15, 2019 1:14:00 PM CST February 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Agencies across mid-Missouri are responding to snowfall. Updates appear here in reverse chronological order, with the newest... More >>
12 hours ago Friday, February 15 2019 Feb 15, 2019 Friday, February 15, 2019 12:20:00 PM CST February 15, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Attorneys for Sen. Josh Hawley asked a Cole County judge to quash a subpoena in connection with... More >>
13 hours ago Friday, February 15 2019 Feb 15, 2019 Friday, February 15, 2019 11:32:00 AM CST February 15, 2019 in News
MEXICO, Mo. — The Mexico Public Safety Department responded to a fire at 1:19 a.m. Friday at the Hardee’s on... More >>
17 hours ago Friday, February 15 2019 Feb 15, 2019 Friday, February 15, 2019 7:02:00 AM CST February 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Approaching winter weather may have an impact on the Missouri State High School Wrestling Championships. The championships... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, February 14 2019 Feb 14, 2019 Thursday, February 14, 2019 10:07:00 PM CST February 14, 2019 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress lopsidedly approved a border security compromise Thursday that would avert a second painful government shutdown. However,... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, February 14 2019 Feb 14, 2019 Thursday, February 14, 2019 7:51:00 PM CST February 14, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The head of a physicians group says the sale of St. Mary's Hospital to MU Health Care... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, February 14 2019 Feb 14, 2019 Thursday, February 14, 2019 7:43:00 PM CST February 14, 2019 in News
COOPER COUNTY - Two months later and no arrests have been made related to the homicide of a Sioux Falls... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, February 14 2019 Feb 14, 2019 Thursday, February 14, 2019 6:12:00 PM CST February 14, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 18°
1am 18°
2am 17°
3am 16°
4am 15°