COLERAIN TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WJW) – Dickie Marcum of Colerain Township, Ohio says he used to be a racist.
He made the decision recently to remove a swastika tattoo he got when he was 19.
Five years ago when he found out he was going to be a father, he got an ‘X’ put over it.
“I didn’t want to raise my kids around hate or intolerance. They don’t deserve that, and a lot of that stuff is taught at a very young age. They needed a chance,” Marcum said in an interview with FOX 19.
“What helped kill the feelings of what that tattoo represented to me was working with a bunch of a diverse people, and getting to know people on a personal level and them embracing me and showing me love, knowing what I had on my body, and they didn’t care.”
Now at age 34, he wanted to take the next step.
On Juneteenth, the day that commemorates the end of slavery in the U.S., Marcum had the tattoo fully covered.
“Once that hate started to go away, I started to feel a lot lighter,” Marcum said. “I wasn’t carrying all that baggage, and I want people to know they don’t have to live like that. They don’t have to have that in their heart.
Silkworm Tattoo covered the tattoo for free. They’re doing it for people who want to cover up racial tattoos who donate to a charity.
“My kids are going to know what I had,” Marcum said. “They are going to know how I felt, but they are never going to be taught to feel that way.
“I have said and done some things that I am still filled with shame for, and anybody out there that knows me or knows of me or has been affected by me in any negative way, I want them to know I am truly sorry.”
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