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Covering Up The Past: How One Man Is Helping People Heal

German-American TM Garret is helping people escape their violent past through tattoos and here’s how.

Image via

Regrettable tattoos are a favorite topic of the internet. People love to laugh at the seemingly permanent mistake people have made, but no one ever thinks about how this “joke” can take such a negative turn.

Vice’s documentary on TM Garret and his journey to help former members of the Neo-Nazi Skinhead gang erase their racist history to help them through some of their final stages of reformation. This video specifically features a man named Romey Muns, who joined the Aryan Brotherhood after going to jail and being jumped by two black men. He felt that they were the only ones willing to protect him, but when he realized that he wasn’t receiving acceptance, or protection, but rather, was being used as a drug mule, and was filled with nothing but hatred for himself and others, he knew he needed to leave.

This chest piece is simply the beginning of Muns’ journey to cover up his gang tattoos. Via

However, when you wear these symbols as a Skinhead, you are wearing a badge of honor, and when you leave the Skinheads, you must loose that badge of honor. Multiple times after leaving the Arian Brotherhood, Muns was attacked. The Skinhead’s attempted to cut off his tattoos, and used a shiv to stab him multiple times in the skull. Muns was lucky to survive, but still lived with these badges of shame. Muns talks about how he is embarrassed to be seen without his shirt, and embarrassed to be around his own son.

Garret on the far right with other members of C.H.A.N.G.E via

TM Garret, also a former Skinhead, creator of the organization C.H.A.N.G.E which looks to engage at a local and global level, engaging communities in conversations about anti-racism and anti-violence campaigns. Garret helps others who have managed to escape any gang by connecting them to tattoo artists who do the work for free. Muns’ artist asked him for his input for what he would be willing to do and what he was interested in. After settling on a skull, the artist began to block out the most offensive parts of the chest piece so that Muns could feel as comfortable as fast as possible. The gift this organization gives to it’s members and candidates is a second chance to prove how they have changed, and provide them safety from the past they are trying so hard to escape. See more about Muns transformation in the Vice documentary below.

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