A Second Chance to Leave Hate Behind: Free Tattoo Cover-Ups


( ENSPIRE Community Spotlight ) Kentucky Tattoo Artists Offering Free Cover Ups of Racist and Hateful Tattoos

ENSPIRE Contributor: Amanda Hirsch

Everyone makes mistakes when they’re young. It’s learning from our mistakes and wanting to change that makes us human. This is why we give people second chances. Kentucky tattoo artists from Gallery X Art Collective, Ryun King and Jeremiah Swift, wanted to contribute to helping people fix their mistakes, so on June 7th, they began offering free cover-ups for hateful or racist tattoos.

King and Swift have no judgment for people that got hateful tattoos when they were younger. They recognize that people can change. As with a majority of their customers coming in for cover-ups, they are realizing that the people coming in to “change their hate” express to them that they are just straight up different people from when they got the tattoo. They express regret and shame over their permanent body art. Although this is not the case with everyone who has a hateful or racist tattoo, in just two weeks the artists have received 30 cover-up requests, and that has to say something about moral transformations.

Photo: A recent cover-up done by King and Swift.

With their zero-judgment policy, they took to Facebook to advertise their initiative to “change people’s hate.” On June 7th, they posted, “If it is hate-related, in any way, we will schedule you a day to come get it covered up for free, at the artist’s choosing. There will be options for ideas but all designs and ideas will be up to Jeremiah or Ryun King, whichever one is doing your tattoo.”

Photo: Announcement from the tattoo shop’s Facebook page.

Many people who get hateful tattoos when they are younger are doing so for clout, to fit in with a crowd, to rebel, or because that is what they believe in at the time. It’s ignorant to say that everyone grows up regretting the decisions they made when they were younger, but the people that do should get a second chance to redeem themselves. King and Swift are two of the first artists to offer free tattoo cover-ups. With this initiative, they are helping create positive change by giving people a second chance to be embraced and welcomed in a society that does not thrive on hate.

If you are in the area and are interested in their initiative, visit their website here.