Tattoo Blog

Art that adorns the flesh…

Under Cover

September 17th, 2010 by

It seems like the world often doesn’t make much sense when it comes to tattoos.  I mean, it’s quite common place if you have tattoos to be told to cover them up at your place of work (provided your place of work isn’t a tattoo studio, of course), and it’s especially common place to have to cover up any visible tattoos if you’re going to a job interview.  As ridiculous as this practice is, it ensures that customers or our potential employers don’t somehow acquire a negative image of the tattooed person or of the business that the tattooed person is working for.  Without ever even knowing the people who are tattooed, strangers can and will make up their minds about them based on the tattoos that these employees may have.

In an upcoming court case in New Port Richey, Florida, however, a self-professed neo-Nazi with a tattoo of a swastika and another tattoo of what has been described as an “expletive” on his neck will be permitted to have his tattoos covered with makeup before each court appearance.  The makeup procedure will cost Florida taxpayers $125 dollars a day, because of concerns that jurors will be swayed in their verdict if they were to see John Ditullio Jr’s tattoos.  Ditullio is charged with the first-degree murder of 17-year-old Kristofer King and the attempted murder of 44-year-old Patricia Wells.

So I ask you – here we have a man who is a self-professed Nazi and who has made the commitment to such beliefs by having a swastika tattooed on his body.  Isn’t it completely bizarre that tattoos – albeit sick and horrible ones – such as a swastika have to be covered up in order not to sway the opinions of the jury against John Ditullio Jr, despite the jury already knowing that Ditullio is a self-professed neo-Nazi?  Does that information not already tell them everything that they need to know about the man, more so than a tattoo could?  And yet in order to protect someone who clearly hates people based on their skin colour, religion or sexual orientation, the people of Florida are asked to pay for his makeup job.

Strange stuff indeed.  It would also seem to me that if you have such an allegiance to a particular political group or movement that you needed to have their emblem tattooed on your flesh, and if you had the guts to really follow your beliefs, then you would stick to those beliefs to the bitter end, no matter the outcome.  Whining about the image that your tattoos might portray you as at a murder trial seems a bit amiss to me and more than a little cowardly.

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