State discriminates against those with tattoos

May 27, 2004

Dear Editor:

We supposedly live in a free nation. A society where citizens are free to make their own choices and not be discriminated against for those choices. We supposedly live in a nation where the skin color of a person has no relevance in job employment. Even in 2004, we still have to fight for our rights as Americans and as humans to make our own choices.

George Ward, the Kentucky Parks Department commissioner, announced "a new professional appearance policy that all employees must adhere to." This new policy, approved by Gov. Ernie Fletcher is the most discriminating policy I have seen in my 26 years.

Anyone with tattoos must wear long-sleeve shirts or cover up their tattoos with bandages. It is illegal to discriminate against a black man because his skin is dark, but it's OK to judge me because my skin is colorful. The second part of the policy is that you must remove all piercings, however, the policy allows women to wear earrings. Sexism, which is illegal, is defined as discrimination based on gender. I question if the Kentucky State Parks policy is even legal.


I understand the policy that employees must maintain clean, neat hair and that shirts must be tucked in pants. This shows a neat and friendly appearance, however, I cannot understand discrimination and sexism.

A Kentucky State Parks spokesman stated, "The idea is that somebody with things going through their tongue is probably not somebody that guests are going to want to be served by."

I personally don't like the color red and would hate to be served by someone with red hair, so should the parks have a policy of no redheads? Since the Kentucky State Parks are going to be so discriminating, should African Americans not be allowed to serve guests? You never know when a member of Ku Klux Klan may visit; don't want to offend guests.

Kentucky is slowly becoming a state that prefers personal preferences instead of discrimination laws.

Jerry W. Milburn II


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