Virginia tattoo shop offers to cover up racist, insensitive tattoos for free

A Virginia tattoo shop owner is covering up racist, insensitive tattoos for free.

Jeremiah Hirsch, who owns Electric Pair O’ Dice Tattoo in Fredericksburg, said that over the last few months his heart became heavier with reports of the deaths of African Americans involving law enforcement.

The deaths of Breonna Taylor on March 13, George Floyd on May 25 and Rayshard Brooks last week have been widely reported, sparking protests and calls for changes in policing.

A friend from high school reached out to Hirsch, asking for help covering up a tattoo on his foot. His friend got the tattoo when he was younger and did not really understand what it meant and he was embarrassed, Hirsch said.

Hirsch said that with what has happened recently, he wanted to focus more on the African American community and felt that removing the tattoo was an opportunity to do something in the community.

He then started a campaign. Anyone who feels regret with a racist and offensive tattoo they have, “We would offer to cover it up for free,” Hirsch said.

Eighty percent or more of the tattoos people have asked about covering feature the Confederate flag, Hirsch said.

Any tips from the removal procedure will be given back to the community, and Hirsch said he is looking at donating to local organizations.

He wants to encourage other businesses and shops in the area to think about the opportunity and platform they have and to reach out to the community — whether it is by covering offensive, racist tattoos, charity events or benefits — and “keep this moment going,” Hirsch said.

“We evolve or we repeat. As a nation, we’re tired of this repetitiveness that’s happening, and we want real change to happen and for there to be unity and justice for every single living being. That’s what everyone deserves. All lives can’t matter until black lives matter.”

Watch NBC Washington’s coverage.

WTOP’s Michelle Basch contributed to this report.

Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

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