Iowa tattoo shop will remove racist tattoos for free -- 'It’s basically good versus evil'
Retrospect's tattoo removal laser in action/Screenshot

A tattoo shop in Dubuque, Iowa is offering to remove hateful tattoos for free.


Robert Bader runs Retrospect Tattoo Removal, which is in the back room of his tattoo shop. There, they use lasers to burn off regrettable tattoos.

And if those regrettable tattoos are related to racism, gangs or human trafficking, he's written a blog post offering to do the removal for free.

“It’s basically good versus evil," Bader told the Quad Cities Times. “To give people a fresh start.”

The inspiration came from a client at another shop where he worked, who came in to get a tattoo in honor of his baby granddaughter—which go go not far from a racist symbol.

The guy was embarrassed, Bader says, and talked openly about his upbringing in rural Alabama and association with the Klu Klux Klan.

“My heart went out to him. You could see it in his eyes and his tears that he had changed,” Bader told the paper.

Now that he has his own shop,. Bader is in position to do something about it.

"I hear stories of them still being profiled, shunned, turned down, all because of an influential upbringing steering them into a lifestyle that included getting tattoos to show their loyalty," he says. "Often they simply don't have the means to have these tattoos covered or removed... No matter your race, background, or story, if you have escaped a life of racism, gang violence or human trafficking, we will remove those affiliated tattoos for free."