Self-called “former racist” covers tattoos of swastikas to represent new beginning

Local News

HORN LAKE, Miss. (localmemphis.com) – A former white supremacist is working to erase hate one tattoo at a time, helping former gang members get a fresh start by covering up gang related or racist tattoos for free.

For Daryl Terry a new tattoo is about a new beginning. So, he traded in a ring of swastikas for roses at Sickside Tattoo Studio in Horn Lake, Mississippi.

Terry calls himself a former racist and talked with Local 24 about his old life in a gang.

“A lot of hate, racism,” he described. “A lot of things that caused more trouble that is not needed to be caused.”

The “Erase the Hate” campaign was started by former white supremacist and skinhead TM Garrett.

“They have these tattoos that’s just a shame that you’re bearing,” said Garret. “It’s a stigma. You look in the mirror and you don’t want to see that old self.”

The Erase the Hate campaign started in 2017 and partners with tattoo studios like Sickside. Some people driving as far away as four hours just to get a consultation.

Terry says he was in and out of institutions for 17 years. It was eight months in a jail cell when he had a realization.

“You start writing this down of this terror that you made, and you start scratching it out,” Terry shared. “This ain’t right, this ain’t right, this ain’t. It’s better off to say everything I’ve done isn’t right, so let’s just start over.”

The love of his fiancée helped too.

“She don’t agree with it, most of my trials and tribulations,” shared Terry. “But she says I’m right here, and I’m not getting off that train.”

Terry sends a message to others affiliated with gangs.

“You can overcome, it’s just on the other side of the mountain,” Terry said. “Get on the other side and keep looking forward.”

Erase the Hate tattoo campaign has spread to Jacksonville and Los Angeles.

If you would like to volunteer to help Erase the Hate or need a tattoo removed, you can go to this page for more information. There you can also learn how to donate to the cause.

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