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Chesterfield’s Fears…

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I’m trying to stay in a festive mood lately, which means being kind to people and not getting angry over the little things.  For the most part it’s been working pretty well, but today I saw this article about a Chesterfield, Virginia tattoo studio and its battle to open its doors.

Tattooists Eric Waite and Eddie Espada had thought that they were in the clear to open their new tattoo studio in Chesterfield’s Tower Shopping Center.  The pair’s application for business had gained recommendations of approval from both the planning commission and the planning department.  But now, just as there seemed to be no question about the decision to allow the studio to open, the do-gooders have reared their ugly heads.

‘Residential leaders – Judy Stoneman, Phil Lohr and former Bermuda Supervisor Jack McHale – believe the shopping center is in a residential area, and the tattoo parlor would attract the wrong clientele, affecting property values. The county’s map shows mostly commercial zoning around the center with some industrial nearby.’

These people had plenty of time before hand to raise their voices and let their concerns be heard.  Yet they did nothing, and now when the livelihood of both Waite and Espada appears to be on the line, this handful of ignorant morons steps forward to cause problems and create controversy where there clearly isn’t any.  It’s so easy to place vague accusations of wrong doing against tattoo artists and their studios, stigmatising them as the wrong element in any good and decent society.  Well excuse me, but the last time I checked, shopping malls have always done pretty well on their own attracting the “wrong clientele” without tattoo studios.  Gangs, drug dealers, thugs – who hasn’t seen all those types of people in malls before?  And guess what?  Any time I’ve seen them in a mall, there wasn’t a tattoo studio to be found.  Wow, shocking isn’t it?

Maybe the Chesterfield do-gooders should consider incidents like this November 2010 shooting in a Detroit shopping mall, in which two men were killed or this report from April 2007 when a gunman shot and killed three people at a Missouri shopping center, none of which had anything to do with tattoos, tattooists, tattoo clients or tattoo studios.  What they did have to do with however, were shopping malls.  So why then are residential leaders like Judy Stoneman, Phil Lohr and former Bermuda Supervisor Jack McHale as well as their supporters worried about tattooists and not the shopping mall itself bringing in the wrong clientele?  I guess it’s just so much easier to garner support based on bigotry.

‘”Bermuda Supervisor Dorothy Jaeckle voted against that case, saying tattoo parlors have “a negative stigma” and “are a sign of decline.” Then she added, “I don’t know why people want to mutilate their bodies.”’

It’s okay Dorothy, you don’t have to know why, but you do have to respect their right to do it.

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