Reviewing the on-line version of my hometown paper as I sometimes do, I read the submission of Jerry Milburn II regarding the policy instituted by the new parks commissioner, George Ward, banning the open display of tattoos by department employees. I found Mr. Milburn's opinions to be rather uninformed.
I personally have nothing against tattoo wearers. But as a former park manager with the Department of Parks, I can appreciate Mr. Ward's position and support his policy on this issue. Kentucky's state parks must compete with private industry for tourist dollars. As a businessman, Mr. Ward understands this. Many tourists and other consumers of the state's heritage resources would find distasteful and unprofessional a parks employee who sported multiple tattoos. A policy of requiring professionalism in employee appearance, particularly for employees dealing with the general public, makes sense.
Unlike gender or ethnicity, the decision to acquire a tattoo is a personal choice, and consequences sometimes follow personal choices. The analogy of an individual's "right" to display one's body art to the protections afforded African Americans and other minorities to ensure they have the same rights in the workplace is ludicrous and rather insulting to those who have struggled for equality.