A Maine tattoo shop says they are not in the business of making hateful messages permanent with body ink.
Alison and Justin Wheeler, owners of Rockland-based Siren Song Tattoo, told the Bangor Daily News they recently responded to a Facebook request for a Nazi tattoo after denying about four or five other Nazi, Ku Klux Klan or white supremacy-related ones.
This Dec. 23 post came from a person inquiring about a tattoo.
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"Hey i want a nazi logo on my chest in a couple months. Would you do that for me? Some people may be weird about it so i figured id ask.”
The Wheelers responded to the post.
"Hhheeeyyy everyone good snowy morning!! So we wouldn’t normally do this but there have been an alarming amount of people wanting Nazi/KKK tattoos this year! So we are declaring now that we do not create images or re create images that pertain to these parties and like parties. Also anything slightly related, like any “Viking” imagery that has been used in white supremacy iconography. Get over it and stop asking us, we ain’t about that [expletive]! Happy happy holidays everyone!!!"
Alison Wheeler told the Bangor Daily News that they opened their Rockland shop about eight years ago after relocating from Richmond, Virginia. When they were there, they would occasionally receive rare requests for images of swastikas. But since moving to Maine, the couple can't recall receiving any requests for those types of images until this year.
"I don’t know if there’s one exact thing [contributing to the rise]," Alison Wheeler told the paper. "I don’t know — maybe they’re getting braver."
Since the Wheelers posted their Facebook response to the man who requested the most recent Nazi tattoo, a number of patrons and supporters have applauded them for taking a stance against hate.
"Thank you for standing against this ignorance and making the public aware of it. You're awesome," wrote Kay Stephens.
"Thank you for standing up against bigotry, racism, ignorance, and hatred," added Kelly Varner.