An Iowa man is covering up a part of his past, with some ink on his arm. For more than 25 years the Newton man, who does not want to be identified, had a tattoo on his right arm of the grim reaper with a Ku Klux Klan hat on.
He tells KCRG-TV 9 he got it in prison to fit in with other white inmates. “Pretty much you had to take it, or let it be known that you were white or you were going to get taken from the other side or whatever else,” the man said describing his life in prison. “I’d say that while I was in prison that I was definitely racist.”
He started changing his view once he got out and realized the tattoo he wore with pride in prison was a sign of racism.
“It was kind of easy, you know, to try and say it was just a reaper, but in my eyes and in my head and heart I knew it was much more than that,” he says.
He spent two hours at Cedar Rapids tattoo shop on Sunday replacing the hooded grim reaper with golf clubs and golf balls.
“You might see the smile on my face because of the tattoo, but you don’t see how deep that smile goes and what’s actually behind that smile,” he told KCRG-TV 9. “It’s a freeing moment if that’s what you wanna say.”
He says he’s matured and is open to discussions on race relations in America, because he knows change comes from within.
“I think I’ll actually be able to put that part of my life to rest,” he said.
(Photo: KCRG-TV 9)