John Craig, a Black tattoo artist and businessman in Jackson, Mississippi, is crying foul over some of the objections local residents have made to his proposed new tattoo parlor.
Local news station WLBT reports that Craig this week spoke before the Jackson Planning Board and questioned why some residents who lived miles away from the proposed location of his new business were so opposed.
Craig told the board that he believed the primary reasons for opposition were "perception, bigotry, and bias," and he told a story about meeting with skeptical local residents to illustrate his point.
“They asked me if I was approved would I... have a boombox blaring to attract customers,” Craig said, according to WLBT. “I assured [them] that I did not own a boombox and would not need to attract customers in this manner, I already have a deep clientele base.”
However, some residents who spoke in opposition to Craig's business said they simply believed a tattoo parlor in that area would not be appropriate.
“It’s just about the character of the store," local Lawrence Mixon explained. "That’s the opposition... a lot of other people in the area have. It’s just that the unseemliness of a tattoo shop is just not really something that we want in our area.”
Sheffield Area Homeowners Association President Ashley Ogden, meanwhile, argued that the tattoo parlor could harm other nearby businesses and local property values.
“Families will not shop at Target with a tattoo parlor next to it,” he argued. “They will drive out to Rankin County and go to the Target in Flowood. This will decrease the business to Target and its surrounding stores.”