FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) A reformed former skinhead is covering the hate of his past – one tattoo at a time.

Shane Johnson was the former leader of the Kokomo skinheads, a subculture of white supremacy and antisemitism. In that life, Johnson covered his body in tattoos, many that showcased his belief in hate.

Johnson disassociated himself with the skinheads several years ago, and had since moved to Fort Wayne. The tattoos, though, remained, as they do.

Until Wednesday.

Johnson began the lengthy process of covering the hate at New Republic tattoo parlor.

Johnson said shedding the last attachment to a belief system of hate was freeing.

“Hate is a hell of a thing,” said Johnson. “It’s hard to explain it. But it consumes you. I see it in a lot of people, a lot of people. Just let it go.”

Artist and New Republic owner Donny Manco created the tattoo coverings. He began on Wednesday with coverings on Johnson’s neck, and will move later to his hands and throughout the rest of his body.