A Kentucky shop is using ink to unite communities across the country by offering free services to people who want to cover up their gang or hate symbol tattoos.
Tattoo artists Ryun King and Jeremiah Swift from the Gallery X Art Collective in Murray said they decided to offer the free coverup service as a way to support the Black Lives Matter movement amid the protests calling to end racial injustice and police brutality.
In a CNN interview, King said: “It’s definitely a long-overdue change,”
“Having anything hate-related is completely unacceptable. A lot of people when they were younger just didn’t know any better and were left with mistakes on their bodies. We just want to make sure everybody has a chance to change.”
According to Swift, after posting on Facebook about the free service two weeks ago, the shop has already received over 30 requests and still counting.
“One of the people we got was a man with both of his forearms completely covered in hate symbols, absolutely everywhere. How is this man going to interact with society with the mistakes he made 10, 15, 20 years ago?” King said.
“We also got a guy with a giant swastika who said he has never taken his shirt off in front of his kids. I like seeing that. I like seeing people want to change themselves for the better. That swells me full of emotions.”
The tattoo artists said they will cover up anyone’s tattoos, even if they are not from Kentucky, and offer different designs they can choose from.