Results tagged “Nazi tattoos”
As previously discussed in my Superior Race? post, Nazi Skinhead tattooing is a popular albeit confused subsection of our culture. "Not our culture!" you exclaim. In fact, I am certain that we would all rather it -- and the inherent concerns about racism, bigotry and mid-western in-breeding that it evokes -- ride back into hell and take with it gang ink, prison scratching and regrettable celebrity tattoos.
But it will not. Anecdotal evidence -- the amount of criminals arrested with ridiculous white power tattoos and the amount of dedicated sites to this phenom among them -- suggests that Nazi skinhead tattooing is quite prominent and ever increasing around the world. Just check the many hate tattoo video montages posted on YouTube like this one below from the UK (turn off sound unless you want to hear hate anthems) :
A review of message boards find older, wiser racists counseling their younger cohorts to avoid the allure of multiple, elaborate and prominent tattoos for fear of arrest or detection. Nowhere was the practice derided for aesthetic or cultural taboos. But it seems the new Hitler youth isn't listening.
And so, with a built-in belief system that you can do no wrong and lax cultural mores against the practice, hate tattooing can continue to grow apace. While it moves onward, consider that Supremacist tattoos have a long reach into the history of the art form. While we hope that the meaning of spider-web tattoos might devolve into nothingness as more under-informed young adults get them, there is no mistaking the many German flags, swastikas and SS's that adorn a large portion of America's prison population. These are signifiers 50 years old. Certainly, no other iconography in the tattoo lexicon maintains such an uncorrupted understanding for so long.
[For more information on these symbols, the ADL has put together a visual database of hate emblems that are often tattooed on Nazi dregs.]
What troubles me is not that individuals seek these tattoos. More so, I am bothered by the supposed professionals that ink them. Surely, there are racists, criminals and degenerates within our lauded profession.
Curtis Allgier pictured above and interviewed in the video below is one such tattoo artist:
Upon further review of online Nazi skinhead tattoo discussion forums, I realized there are whole shops (like in Pennsylvania) dedicated to such ink: They are self-identified "white only" parlors that must find business strong enough to be able to be so selective about their clientele.
With such places accessible via a quick internet search, it would seem that anyone so dedicated to a movement, regardless of how terrible and ridiculous this movement might be, would have no problem finding and traveling to one of these shops. The fool who walks into a liberal parlor seeking an embellishment to his Doc Marten ink is proof that either those of us who are not racist would never treat them as they might treat us or that their intelligence is not quite as keen as their sense of superiority would have them believe.
Today's tattoo law post raises this question:
Should the state pay for a cosmetologist to cover the Neo-Nazi tattoos of a defendant in a murder trial where he faces the death penalty?
A Florida judge presiding over a Pasco County murder trial said Yes according to this Miami Herald article:
"Judge Michael Andrews, acting on a request by Ditullio's lawyer, ruled that the tattoos are potentially offensive and could influence a jury's opinion in the state's death penalty case against the 23-year-old accused of donning a gas mask, breaking into a neighbor's home and stabbing two people, killing one of them."
The decision led to a flood of articles and editorials over whether the state should've picked up the $150/day tab for the tattoo cover-up. My guess was that the judge was being cautious in light of previous cases.
For example, in Dawson v Delaware, the US Supreme Court said the defendant's First and Fourteenth Amendment rights were violated when the prosecution admitted his Aryan Brotherhood tattoo into evidence -- the murder he committed wasn't racially motivated and so the hate group association and tattoo were not relevant.
However, this past June, in Wood v State, the Eleventh Court of Appeals in Texas ruled that the prosecution did not violate a defendant's First Amendment rights when commenting on his tattoos -- text on each eyelid that said "Lying Eyes." The court said that, unlike the Dawson case, the tattoos were not used to show gang affiliation but "to show his disregard for the truth and his moral character. A person's tattoos can reflect his character and demonstrate a motive for his crime." For interesting commentary on this case, read what Eugene Volokh has to say.
In NY, the state's highest court ruled in 2004 that Nazi tattoos could be used as evidence that a defendant committed a hate crime in The People v. Slavin. In that case, Slavin was tried for luring two Mexican laborers into an abandoned warehouse and killing them. During the trial, to show hate was a motivating factor, the prosecution offered jurors a slideshow of Slavin's tattoos including black swastikas, a white fist and a skinhead kicking a large-nosed man wearing a skullcap. Slavin appealed saying that this violated his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination. The NY Court of Appeals disagreed saying:
"We conclude that defendant was not "compelled ... to be a witness against himself" within the meaning of the privilege. The tattoos were physical characteristics, not testimony forced from his mouth. However much the tattoos may have reflected defendant's inner thoughts, the People did not compel him to create them in the first place."Back to this past week's case, the question is whether the judge played it too safe in light of the case law. Defendant Ditullio showed up in court with his Nazi tattoos covered and hair trimmed, as shown here. The jury could not reach a unanimous verdict and the judge declared a mistrial. The retrial is scheduled for March 22. Let's see if that jury will see the real Ditullio, tattoos and all.