Tattoo Blog

Art that adorns the flesh…

That Better Not Be A Tattoo, Private.

April 1st, 2009 by

Ever notice how the people who continue to buy into the idea of a tattoo limiting your ability to become a “serious” member of society are the very same people who make that outdated notion possible?  Wouldn’t things work so much smoother if we all just gave up on that idea and hired people based on their skills rather than their personal taste?  Hmmm…I’m thinking yeah, they really would.

This article from Stars and Stripes talks about US Marines being banned from having sleeve tattoos, as well as police departments having a policy of no tattoos for its officers.  Some police departments allow tattoos, but only if they are covered up during duty.  Other police forces think some tattoos are okay for their officers, so says Jimmy Holderfield, chief of personnel for the Jacksonville Florida sheriff’s office:

“If the Marine had a “Globe and Laurel,” USMC, or an American Flag on his arm he would be OK,” Holderfield explained. “If he had a woman with her breast exposed, a confederate battle flag, or words that would be considered profanity, he would either have to wear a patch or long sleeves to cover them up.”

So in other words, as long as a tattoo is patriotic, then it’s fine.  But – and pay attention here, because this is a big exception – BUT, if your tattoo doesn’t fall into the category of patriotism, then it’s probably either sexist, pornographic, racist or profane and you better cover that shit up.  It doesn’t matter if you’ve got a sleeve of a unicorn blowing marshmallow kisses to a squadron of teddy bears, unless those unicorns and teddy bears are wrapped in ol’ glory and heading to boot camp, it’s going to affect your performance as a police officer and the only cure is to cover it up completely or to not join the police force at all.

It’s all just so ridiculous.  I mean, if an ex-marine wants to join a police force, doesn’t that already prove that he’s got the drive, physical ability and determination to be a cop?  Because let’s be serious here, and I have to go on record as not knowing much about the marines other than what I’ve seen in films, but couldn’t even the weakest marine run circles around the best cop in the physical fitness department?  And if that marine just happened to be tattooed, what difference would it make in terms of how that marine did their job as a cop?  Not only that, but would it not do worlds of good towards eliminating the stale stigma attached to tattoos if people actually saw officers with visible tattoos?  Would that not go to show people that yes, even law abiding cops can have tattoos too?  Maybe they aren’t so bad after all?

As a society, people should start caring less about what police officers have tattooed on their skin and more about the actual job that those officers are doing.  A few weeks back in the city where I live, a bunch of off duty cops beat up an Indian man because they “didn’t like brown people”.  That to me is a strong indicator that someone should not be allowed to be on a police force, because it really doesn’t matter if the guilty officers did or didn’t have tattoos.  It matters how they do the job that they’re entrusted to do.  Bottom line.

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