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Tattoos and Relevancy

November 30, 1986

I was very disturbed recently to read an article regarding the slaying of a Huntington Beach teen-ager that began with the words "A tattooed ex-convict. . ." as a description of the suspect.

I don't believe the fact that he has a tattoo is a newsworthy item, and as a tattooed person myself I resent the "guilt by association" that is implied toward all persons with tattoos.

An article the following day more appropriately identified Marlow as a member of a racist gang with "a swastika (tattooed) on his shoulder." This, I believe, is relevant since it makes the public aware of the type of aberrant behavior that can be expected from dangerous racist extremists like the Aryan Brotherhood.

However, to promote the idea that individuals can be equated with racist, murderous behavior because they wear tattoos is a gross misrepresentation of the entire tattooed community and journalistically irresponsible.

RICK GUNTER

Huntington Beach

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