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Arts & Culture

New England Tattoo Artist Removes Racist Tattoos For Free

Wilson Ring
AP Photo
Tattoo artist Alex Lawrence, right, prepares to cover up a tattoo that contained the image of a swastika on the arm of Dylan Graves, Bellows Falls, Vt.

For more than a decade, Vermont tattoo artist Alex Lawrence has been offering to remove racist tattoos — such as swastikas or the white supremacist slogan “white power” — for free. Recently, as protests over police violence continue and his work has gotten more exposure, Lawrence has seen an uptick in clients taking him up on the offer.

In an interview with NEXT, Lawrence said he believes in redemption and that has motivated him to do his pro bono work.

“I’m just trying to help people erase that part of their past,” he said. “I’ve made plenty of mistakes myself over the years. And I’ve had people help me along the way.”

Lawrence owns Mountainside Tattoo in Bellows Falls, Vt., and tattoos at Sacred Body Tattoo in Enfield, Conn. He said he’s creating a nonprofit called “Erase Your Hate” to promote the covering up of racist tattoos and hopes other tattoo artists around the country will join him.

Want to listen to the full episode of NEXT? Click here.

Morgan Springer is the host/producer for the weekly show NEXT and the New England News Collaborative, a ten-station consortium of public radio newsrooms. She joined WNPR in 2019. Before working at Connecticut Public Radio, Morgan was the news director at Interlochen Public Radio in northern Michigan, where she launched and co-hosted a weekly show Points North.

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