Cafe Ink Offers Free Cover Up for Racist/Hateful Images

CLEVELAND, Tenn. (WDEF)- A manager from the cafe ink tattoo parlor in Cleveland is offering free cover ups of tattoos that displays racist and hateful images.

Matt Hattaway of Cafe ink tattoo posted on Facebook Thursday saying, “if you have a racist tattoo and you want it gone, I’ll cover it for free. No questions asked. I choose the design.”

“My initial thought was people who have made mistakes in their life and admit that wrong and want to change themselves for the better” said Hattaway.

Hattaway says another reason he is offering this free cover up service is for people who were forced to get these tattoos for their own protection and the environments that they were in.

“Whether they were in prison or they grew up in certain communities. At times that’s what they did to survive.”

Jeff Shockley got a “don’t tread on me” tattoo while serving in the Army in 1999. 20 years later, he says the meaning behind the symbol changed and he regrets having it on his body.

“It became a symbol for the ALT RIGHT -proud boy movement” said Shockley. “It’s something friends are shocked to see on my body. It’s something I’m embarrassed to have on my body.”

Hattaway has received both positive and negative feedback. He says helping people hide their hate is not the goal.

“My intention is to remove it and to eradicate that in our world and the social climate that we’re in” said Hattaway.

Shockley is upset that certain symbols like the one on his chest is being being portrayed negatively.

“We’re standing up to tyranny and now you’re using it as a symbol of something that a lot of people considered to be tyranny. ‘Would you consider it racist?’ Now a days yeah. It’s something that most of these so-called proud boys of all lives matter groups -yeah they are racist” said Shockley.

Hattaway hopes his service is a positive step forward, “I’m strictly doing this to make things better in the world.”

Categories: Bradley County, Cleveland, Featured, Local News

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