The politics of Body Modification?

I removed the post that Sean put up earlier which was causing such controversy. I didn’t want the discussion to keep revolving around one person’s tattoos because we don’t know if that person is a racist or just an idiot (if it’s the first then it looks like the answer would be both).

Shannon and I have been discussing the post via email earlier and he reminded me of this old post of a Hitler portrait from a tattooer in Singapore. As it stands now and has been the policy for years, racist and hategroup tattoos go into the Political Section of BME. Similar to the Animal Tattoo & Piercing sections, we don’t support it but BME’s mandate is to archive and catalog the evolution and history of our community, even the ignorant aspects of it. However, that doesn’t expand to other parts of BME like IAM.

IAM’s long standing TOS states the following:

“IAM is a community built around principles of tolerance. You may not post hatespeech (race, gender, or sexuality-based attacks). This includes use of terms like “gay” or “fag” or “kike” in a derogatory manner, even in jest. This rule is very strict, and extends to racist codes and iconography (“14″, “88″, and so on), as well as NSBM and racist band lists and so on. This includes verifiable offsite posts. To be very clear about this: if you are a bigot, onsite or off, stay off IAM. This is not a ban on racism. This is a total ban on bigots.”

This begs the question as far as political commentary on racist tattoos. I personally don’t want to see them get any more attention than they deserve, which is why they’re generally quietly filed away, along with other ill advised modifications. We can’t sit back and pretend that they don’t exist but we also don’t need to give them any room in the spot light that is Modblog.

As both Sean and I have said in the comments section, neither of us recognized the tattoo as a Totenkopf. At first glance I thought it was three skulls because you couldn’t see the entire tattoo. I was sent some messages stating that the racist aspect of the tattoo should be ignored because it wasn’t the focus of the post. The focus of the post was the small boobs and not tattoos. I don’t agree with that line of thinking. One of the other reasons we can’t flat out reject racist tattoos is that we simply don’t have the manpower to be fully adept at all the secret racist codes out there. As none of the staff on BME are racists, we don’t know the secret handshakes. So we try to file the tattoos where they belong. Maybe it would be more helpful if racists grew balls and weren’t so embarrased by their beliefs that they have to disguise them.

The reasoning for this post was to give you guys a post to comment on that wasn’t attacking a specific individual. So let your thoughts fly.