Monday, October 31, 2011

Reformed Skinhead Gets Dozens of Tattoos Removed from His Face and Body


Your Black World Reports

Julie Widner and her husband Bryon were both once white supremacists.  The tattoos on her husband’s face made it clear that he was a Skinhead and proud of it.   But later, the couple decided to settle down and have a baby.  That’s when things started to change.

Widner was ostracized wherever he went – to restaurants, stores, job interviews, etc.  This made him feel like a failure as a father and human being.  After searching the internet, the couple still had a hard time finding any solutions to help him look normal again.

"I was totally prepared to douse my face in acid,” he said.

Out of love for her husband, Julie reached out to a black man.

Daryle Lamont Jenkins runs a group called the “One People’s Project” in Philadelphia.  Jenkins would post the names and addresses of white supremacists on his website and also hold rallies.

"It didn't matter who she had once been or what she had once believed," he said. "Here was a wife and mother prepared to do anything for her family."

Jenkins put them in touch with the Southern Poverty Law Center, which helps those who want to leave hate groups.  He gave them intelligence on Skinhead organizations and how they work.  In return, he asked them to find a donor who’d be willing to pay for him to get rid of his tattoos.  After months of searching, they found one.

"For him to have any chance in life and do good," the donor said, "I knew those tattoos had to come off."

The woman agreed to pay the $35,000 for the surgeries, on a few conditions.  She wanted to remain anonymous, for Bryon to get his GED and for him to either go to college or get a trade.

Dr. Bruce Shack at Vanderbilt University led the process to have the tattoos removed.

"This wasn't just a few tattoos," he said. "This was an entire canvas."

"He didn't just see the tattoos," Widner said. "He saw me as a real human being."

With the man’s body and face being tattooed from head to toe, the team had their work cut out for them.  But as you can see from the images, they did an outstanding job.


Anonymous said...

Okay so he removed the tattoos! That doesn't mean he's no longer a racist it just makes him less identifiable and easier to blend in. :(

Deborrah said...

He actually looks happier in the last picture. He can have a social life like a normal person now - take his kid to the park and birthday parties and not BE the star attraction at the amusement park! He can take a family portrait now and send it out with Christmas cards like a normal person. He won't scare kids when he shows up at parent/teacher conferences.

I never understood why people get all drawn on anyway. I don't have any tats and don't want one.

Ruby from NJ said...

My first thought was the same as what Anonymous wrote. There is no proof that this "former" white supremacist has reformed. We'll just have to wait. I hope some one keeps an eye on his activities. And I would never get a tat. I don't understand this marking up of the human body.

sabbyATL said...

If you Google around you will find there's an extensive interview where he talks about how he got into the business of hate and how he came to realize it was really an internal thing, not the fault of others. So, I do think he's actually reformed.

sabbyATL said...

* I need to add - I just meant that he came to realize it wasn't "Jews" or "Blacks" that were the problem, but that HE was the problem.

** Also, I just like to believe that people can change for the good. So I hope he's actually reformed.

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