The U.S. Marines said no to this Arkansas teen when he revealed a Confederate flag tattoo. Anthony Bauswell, 18, told KARK in his home state that the recruiter said, “DQ, just automatically DQ,” when he saw the ink as Bauswell tried to enlist. The incident happened at the Conway Marine recruiting center on January 18.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Bauswell Says He Doesn’t Know Where to Go With His Life After Being Denied Enlistment
In an interview with KARK, Bauswell explained that he never wanted his tattoo to be seen as racist. He said, “I definitely don’t want it to be seen as racism, which is 99 percent of the reason I got ‘Southern pride’ on it.” He added that it has been his life’s goal to join the Marines and now he’s at a loss. Bauswell said, “I kind of felt like I had a plan for my life, and now that I can’t go, I am not sure where I stand.”
2. Marines Are Not Allowed Tattoos With ‘Sexist, Racist, Eccentric or Offensive’ Content
According to the Marines Corps Recruiting Command, tattoos with “sexist, racist, eccentric or offensive” content are forbidden. In a July 2015 poll, CNN established that 57 percent of Americans feel the Confederate flag is a symbol of Southern pride and not racist. However, of the black people polled in that study, 72 percent felt it was racist. A Washington Post op-ed on that poll said, “The Confederate battle flag is an outdated emblem of a racist and shameful chapter in American history, and it must be taken down.” In an interview with the Marine Corps Times, Commandant General Robert Neller said, “Having talked to them, I don’t think most Marines understand what the policy is. I don’t think they understand what they can do. They just know they can’t get a sleeve.”
3. Bauswell Is ‘Like Most Country Boys’ & Likes Hunting
According to his Facebook page, Bauswell is a native of Greenbrier, Arkansas, and now lives in Guy, Arkansas. He graduated from Greenbrier High School in 2015. His Facebook photo stream is dominated by photos of him hunting or posting memes of the Confederate flag. In a separate interview with Fox 16 in Arkansas, Bauswell said that he is “like most country boys.” He told the station, “I got a browning buck right there,” pointing to a tattoo on his chest.
4. Defending the Confederate Flag Runs in His Family
We have people destroying everything that has to do with history (Confederate) flag but yet no one has said anything about the people stomping on the American Flag or burning them.
O and we also have Black History Month and the African American Monument? Why should they have all of this history but WE can not because of those making our history about racism.
5. Earlier This Year a Decorated Marine Was Denied Re-enlistment Because of the Updated Tattoo Policy
In April 2015, Sgt. Daniel Knapp, a former Marine, was denied re-enlistment because of the new tattoo policy, reported the Marine Corps Times. Knapp had previously served in Afghanistan. He told the Times, “When I was in Afghanistan, my tattoos never stopped me from shooting anyone, and they never made me more of a target. They never stopped me from keeping Marines safe. On patrol nothing ever happened because of my tattoos.” His ink showed the number 0311 — the Marine Corps’ number designation for riflemen — with two crossed rifles. That tattoo was on his forearm. A Change.org petition was set up for Knapp.