Last month, Marky Mark Wahlberg raised our collective questioning eyebrow (and much of our collective ire) when he announced he was seeking an official pardon for a hate crime he committed as a teenager. The story went that Wahlberg attacked a Vietnamese man (two men, actually) and yelled racist slurs, landing the man in the hospital and permanently blinding him in one eye. Then the man (Hoa Trinh) came forward saying Mark didn’t actually blind him; he was already blind. He even went as far as to say he thinks Wahlberg should be pardoned. As for the rest of us, this did little to make most side with Wahlberg because, well, he still attacked and hospitalized a half-blind man simply for being Vietnamese. And now one of Mark Wahlberg’s other victims says she agrees with us.
Kristyn Atwood was in the fourth grade in 1986, when Wahlberg (then 15) and some other teenagers attacked her and her classmates.
Court documents in the 1986 attack identify Wahlberg among a group of white boys who harassed the school group as they were leaving Savin Hill Beach in Dorchester, a mixed but segregated Boston neighborhood that had seen racial tensions during the years the city was under court-ordered school integration.Wahlberg and his friends were basically let off with a warning, and told that if they committed another hate crime, they’d go to jail. And guess what. Less than two years later, when Mark was 16, he attacked Trinh (and the other man, Thanh Lam) and served 45 days in prison.
The boys chased the black children down the street, repeatedly shouting a racial slur and hurling rocks until an ambulance driver intervened. Wahlberg was 15 at the time.
Atwood says she still bears a scar from getting hit by a rock. No one was seriously injured, but the attack left a lasting impression.
“I was really scared. My heart was beating fast. I couldn’t believe it was happening. The names. The rocks. The kids chasing,” Belmonte told the AP.
So no, Atwood is not on board with the Mark Wahlberg pardoning party.
I don’t think he should get a pardon…I don’t really care who he is. It doesn’t make him any exception. If you’re a racist, you’re always going to be a racist. And for him to want to erase it I just think it’s wrong.
Harsh words, but when a group of teenagers chases you when you’re eight or nine years old, and throws rocks at you hard enough to leave a scar, then you’re allowed to be harsh for as long as you like.