“Kent, a former neo-Nazi,
credits an African-American parole officer named Tiffany Whittier with
helping him to see beyond skin color and changing his views about white
“If it wasn’t for her I would have seeped back into it,” said Kent. “I look at her as family.”
Whittier, 45, even inspired Kent, 38, to take down the Nazi flags he had
hanging in his living room and replace them with smiley faces.
“I’m not here to judge him. That’s not my job to judge. My job is to be that positive person in someone’s life,” Whittier said.
Added Kent, “When you wake up and see a smiley face, you’re going to go to work and you’re going to smile.”
Kent now works full-time on a chicken farm in Colorado, where all his co-workers are Hispanic.
“Before all this, I wouldn’t work for anybody or with anybody that
wasn’t white,” said Kent. “[Now] we have company parties, or they have
quinceañeras, I’m the only white guy there!”
Redemption Ink, a national non-profit that offers free removals of
hate-related tattoos, helped connect Kent with Fallen Heroes Tattoo in
Colorado to begin the 15-hour process of covering his swastikas. The
sterile environment is new to Kent who had his previous ink work done in
“I’ve never, never, never been inside of a tattoo shop getting a professional tattoo,” he said.
Kent believes the painful process will help him move forward after
spending years as a member of a violent skinhead group based in Arizona.
As a father of two young children, Kent also hopes his children will
see the world differently.
“I don’t want my kids to live the life I lived and live with hate,” said
Kent. “I want my kids to know me for who I am now—a good father, a hard
worker, and a good provider.””
“Nattie, I’m fucking terrified. Is this even legal?”
You’re gripping her hand so tight that you’re sure that you’re crushing her
She gives you a withering look, before pulling up her
sleeve. “It works, every time, guaranteed. Look at mine. Perfectly passive, and
it’s gotten me my dream job and boyfriend.”
Your eyes linger over the highly detailed tattoo on her
bicep, before looking back up at her. “You sure that this guy won’t use
his…tattoo powers to murder me?”
She snorts, leaning against the brick wall. “He’s not
allowed to do that, he doesn’t know what he’s casting but they can’t involve
death or illness. Well…maybe illness, but there’ll be a good outcome. He sort
of has a selection of objects, and you choose them, and they’re meant to
influence your tattoo’s meaning. People don’t know what they’re getting, but in
the end, it’ll be something that they’ve wanted for a while.”
“Do you know how sketchy that sounds?” You cross your
arms, heart running wild with panic and oh shit this is a horrible idea isn’t
“Shut up, you’ll be fine,” Nat snatches your hand and
marches you towards the door of the building, “you can’t miss your designated
appointment, he stores his magic up for each client.”
“So what is he? A wizard? Like, from Harry Potter?” The
bell tinkles as you enter the waiting room area. You take a brief look around,
taking in the modern interior, with succulents on benches and plant pots
dangling from the ceilings. There’s nothing ‘magic’ to this, what with fluffy
blankets on the arms of the sofas, and industrial light bulbs casting a glow
over the room.
“I’d prefer the word ‘alchemist,’ but you can call me a
wizard if you want.” A voice says behind you, and you shriek, whipping around
Stimmt es, dass man immer mehr Tattoos möchte, wenn man einmal angefangen hat?
Kann ich nicht sagen, weil ich von Anfang an vorhatte zumindest Arme, Oberkörper und Hals zu tätowieren. Was ich aber mit Sicherheit sagen kann ist: Man wird lockerer, was das Thema betrifft. Facetats kamen für mich ewig lange überhaupt gar nicht in Frage, aber irgendwann dann doch. Als das erste Facetat im Gesicht war, war’s als wäre eine Hürde durchbrochen worden.