The facts and history of the tattoo matter.”. The WWPD has not responded to Hyperallergic’s repeated requests for comment. The S’s beneath was a reference to our service as Scout Snipers. View All Quotes. Sorry dude. The Walla Walla City Council declined to comment but has scheduled a series of town hall meetings to address law enforcement issues in the city in response to the controversy. Are you folks really going after a Marine because of a tattoo? At the time, the snipers adopted the double lightning bolt as their symbol. “MRFF and our Walla Walla clients were horrified by the police chief’s blatant Christian proselytizing from the back of that vehicle during the recent public protest and where he made it clear that only one person in human history was ever ‘perfect’ who walked the face of the earth; obviously a direct reference to Jesus Christ,” he said. The double lightning bolt SS tattoo was informally adopted by some members of the elite group. What is the official emblem of the Marine Corps? I have even seen some HOG’s get branded with a hot piece of hand-made wire and heated with the SS lightning bolt brand. The ignorance is a point of pride, just as the cruelty is the point of the current administration’s right wing extremism. “We need to put an end to this debate now because an SS tattoo should not be a debate, not anywhere,” Semerdjian, who also heads the Syrian Studies Association, wrote in her letter. My tattoo was inked in 2010, and I was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in 2011, prior to the public outcry in 2012. For those reasons, I have decided to alter my tattoo to eliminate the ‘Double S’ portion.”. Small said he got the tattoo in memory of a fallen Marine and friend who he fought beside as a scout sniper. View Emily Thornton, Walla Walla Union-Bulletin's articles. But it has also been highly criticized as the same Schutzstaffel symbol used by the Nazi Party and now neo-Nazis. In 2010, members of a US Marines sniper team in Afghanistan posed for a photo in front of a flag featuring the SS symbol. Racists and bigots always become indignant when called out for their racism and bigotry. Small combined the symbol with a picture of brass knuckles and the name of Claudio Patino IV, according to an article in Stars and Stripes. The protest is in response to the double lightning bolt “SS” tattoo on officer Nat Small, a former Marine whose “Scout Sniper” memorial tattoo uses the … On June 4, 2020, a picture of me in a short sleeve shirt began circulating on social media referencing a tattoo that, I admit without context could be construed in ways never intended. YMMV. Scout/Snipers are the same, some would get a tattoo with a reticle and SS in it or around it with the words “ Kopfjäger ”, the German word for headhunter perhaps attached to it, or something associated with skulls. Just a question and an observation. “If anybody here is from the paper, I know it’s after 5 o’clock, so I’m on my own time,” he said. In the past few years, local law enforcement organizations have granted Small a number of distinctions. The double lightning bolt was the unofficial symbol of Marine scout snipers. In 2012 it was denounced by the Marine Corps. In 2012, the investigation concluded that the soldiers were acting out of ignorance and recommended no punishment. Join Facebook to connect with Jonathan Peters and others you may know. Why are these snipers claiming to use the SS symbol? The tattoo combines a brass knuckles and the name of Small’s fellow Marines Claudio Patino IV, who died in battle in 2010 during their service together in Afghanistan. I regret that I have been an unwitting cause of division in the community that I seek to serve. It wasn't until 2012 that it became a controversy. “At the city of Walla Walla and the Walla Walla Police Department, we do not tolerate or condone racism or anti-Semitism of any kind.”, In addition, the WWPD shared a 2012 interview with Small on the military journal Stars and Stripes. The tattoo features brass knuckles on top of two black lightning bolts that look like the symbol for the SS, or Schutzstaffel, which was a Nazi organization responsible for killing millions of Jews during the Holocaust. The Eagle, Globe, and Anchor What is the significance of each the pieces of the Marine Corps emblem? The Military Religious Freedom Foundation, a group that was vocal against the Nazi flag incident in 2010, is now threatening to file a lawsuit against the city of Walla Walla and its police department unless they take action to address Small’s tattoo. In February 2012, U.S. media reported that Marine scout snipers had been using the double Sig rune (ϟϟ, "SS") in its " Armanen " form () to symbolize their function since at least the 1980s. Nathan Small is the officer who sports the tattoo, a relic of his service in the US Marines. Hakim Bishara is a staff writer for Hyperallergic. “They didn’t realize that they were associating themselves with something that was racist, fascist,” a Marines spokesman told Reuters at the time. While it recognized that the symbol is associated with Nazi Germany, the department claimed that it was “not the intent or denotation of the tattoo on Officer Small’s arm.”. Weinstein said his organization has clients representing various Jewish, LGBTQ, people of color and related communities in Walla Walla who expressed disappointment “that the city allowed this issue to go on so long and especially the role of the Police Department headed by the blatantly incompetent police chief, Scott Bieber.”. 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