Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Greyhounds, tattoo's and scary ideals

all I wanted was another tattoo.
And at some point, it looked like everything came together beautifully.

Some time ago Jack and I decided it would be best if we would do another trip to the US. We needed to get everything together for a smooth transition to my son's school and a meeting with the new school would be good.

While we are working on that, Jack found out GIG, Greyhounds in Gettysburg would be at the same time. An event I had heard about a lot already on a big greyhound message board that Jack and I both visit.
And to make it even better, a new tattoo artist was being promoted at that same board.
It sounded like it just couldn't get any better.
The examples of the art work shown were wonderful and close enough to what I wanted.

I showed Jack, I showed friends and I was in contact to set up an appointment.
And as usual, than I started digging.

and than I found it.
Pictures with on the back ground propaganda flyer's from the second world war.
Someone was really into the Nazi regime and I feared it might be the tattoo artist.
When I asked the contact person, I got the most disturbing answer.

Yes, the artist was into that sort of thing, he even was a member of 'the party'.
But I shouldn't worry, besides that, he was friendly, polite and they were friends for several years now. He didn't impose his believe on others and was just interested in the history and the good parts of those 'believes'. And because of his believes he had to give up on the right to have a passport and other 'freedom' rights.

I felt sick to my stomach, but, with the help of Jack I kept digging.
Turns out that the party, would likely be the American Nazi Party.
Didn't think I could feel any sicker, but there it was, on their main page they sell Mein Kampf.

When a grown up becomes a member of that group, I stop believing the part about it being for 'just' the historical reasons.
And I don't care if it is someone that is very polite to ladies.

It also is someone who supports the believes of the same regime that killed so many people during WW2. Only because they were born as a Jew, a Roma or maybe born with a handicap.

It is people with those same believes that makes it necessary for us to have the 4th of May so we won't forget what ideals like that can cause.
It is the reason my son is right now learning about years of war in Europe and why we visit Westerbork, the place Anne Frank waited, locked up, for that train that took her to her final destination, Auschwitz.

My mail back was very clear in how I would have felt if I had found this all out after I had been tattooed by this guy.

To my surprise I was ridiculed and told that freedom comes with a price.

I do believe that: freedom comes with a price and in Europe millions already payed that price. And if we keep closing our eyes for people like this, we will one day pay that same price again.

I won't get my tattoo, that is a price I pay gladly now.

But it saddens me that someone can choose to overlook these facts and hide behind thin lines like: it is only historic interest, he focuses on the good parts, he doesn't deny bad things happened.

On January 27, 1998, Yehuda Bauer said this:
"thou shall not be a perpetrator; thou shall not be a victim; and thou shall never, but never, be a bystander"

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Memorial Center Camp Westerbork
Anne Frank Museum Amsterdam


L.J. said...

Petra - Good for you for standing up for the right! I stumbled on your post as my family has rescued racing greyhounds and I was googling for examples of greyhound tattoo designs. Although the U.S. Constitution guarantees that tattoo artist's freedmom of speech, we must never back down from our responsibility to exercise our own freedom of sppech in opposition to hate based on race, ethnicity, gender, religion or any other false "reason" to deny other human beings their freedom or their lives. We also should not support such people economically by doing business with them. Thanks for speaking out!

Anonymous said...

wat een schok! ik kan me je reactie heel goed voorstellen, gelukkig kwam je er op tijd achter! Ik ken ene ehle goede tattoo artiest in California, mischien komt zeook wel eens jullie aknt op. Ze heeft Ieren en heet Pat Fish, zoek daar asmar eens op.een beetje maf is ze wel, maar ik heb nooit zulke afstotende politieke overtuigngen bij haar gemerkt gelukkig!


Anonymous said...

ieuw!! Sjees wat een engerd...
Maar er zullen zeker ook tattoot artists zijn in de VS die er wel gezonde politieke ideeën op nahouden en nog leuke plaatjes maken ook ;-) (En anders naar Miami hè..)


earl said...

Greyhound racing is simply amateur and conducted for pleasure. In the U.S., UK, and Australia, it is a well-liked form of gambling, like horse racing.

Petra said...

Thank you Earl for once again showing that many people don't know how to read these days!


jack said...

While we cherish our right of the freedoms of speech and association, we also have the right to not associate with those that we find offensive. Thank goodness Petra dug deep enough to expose this person and what he stands for before it was too late. I saw the correspondence back and forth between them and the sad and shocking part to me was how naive and ignorant this person's defender was. How little background and knowledge of the pain and destruction that these ideals caused humankind. Instead I got the impression she was being lectured by ignorant, uneducated baffoon. That in itself is scarey.
At one pont he asked if people ask their Dr. or Dentist if they are a nazi?.....well no, we typically would not do that but if I went to their website and saw them dressed in SS uniforms and the walls of their office or home plastered with swastikas, you better believe I would ask them then and I would never use their services.
While the law may protect this persons right to be associated with a group and work at his craft, I find it reprehensible that he would be promoted to unsuspecting clients at a gathering of like minded volunteers without some moral obligation to disclose his associations and allowing people to make their own decision.
Shame on the person who is advocating this guys services without disclosing some important background information and even more shame on you for your ignorant and uneducated defense of the indefensible

Anonymous said...

I'm proud of you Petra. It's actually a very American thing you did! It's a sad reality but ignorance is perhaps the most difficult of things to overcome.

There are plenty of tattoo artists out there kiddo.

Bibi Snelderwaard Brion said...

Jeetje, dat is shocking!
Eigenlijk onvoorstelbaar dat dit nog kan bestaan.
Ik ben blij voor je dat je hier bijtijds achterkwam.