In 1986, famous actor Mark Wahlberg along with a group of white friends, hurled rocks at several fourth-grade students who are mostly black, followed by using racial epithets while chasing them down the street.
In court documents from 1986, Wahlberg among other white boys were identified as being responsible for harassing the other group while they were leaving the Savin Hill Beach near a neighborhood that had been experiencing racial tensions at that same time. Although Wahlberg was just 15 years old when the incident occurred and while not one was seriously injured, it left physical and emotional scars.
Last November, Wahlberg submitted a parson application, which is still pending. In the document filed, he admitting that as a teenager he was a delinquent who got involved with alcohol, drugs, and the wrong group of “friends”. However, Wahlberg also cited his philanthropic work specifically with inner city kids, multiple restaurant ventures, and his successful career in acting as proof of making a complete turnaround.
Wahlberg also told reporters in December that he has apologized multiple times and then after being arrested, he made a sincere apology in the courtroom. He added that since that time, he has paid his debt to society and continually works to make up for his poor judgment of the past.
Even with all that, one of the victims of Wahlberg’s racially motivated attack, Kristyn Atwood, says that he should not be pardoned. Atwood who is now 38-years old said that she feared for her life in 1986 and today, she still carries a physical scar along with emotional scars.
Atwood noted that she could care less that Wahlberg is famous and that his current status does not mean he can be an exception. She commented that once a person is a racist they are always a racist and for Wahlberg to have his past erased is simply wrong.
In comparison, the white teacher who took the group of mixed students to the beach that day, Mary Belmonte, says it is important to forgive. She stated that in 1986, Wahlberg was a young punk running the streets of Boston. His actions were not because he was a bad kid but a follower who made bad choices.
However, it is not this incident that Wahlberg is asking pardon for. Instead, he has requested official forgiveness for a 1988 attack on two Vietnamese men who were assaulted while stealing beer. In that case, Wahlberg ended up in prison because one of the men was injured. He, along with the other two white males involved were given a stern warning that another hate crime would not be tolerated.
While only 16 at the time, Wahlberg was sentenced as an adult on two counts of assault and battery using a dangerous weapon, as well as criminal contempt for violating the earlier injunction pertaining to civil rights and possession of marijuana. Of the three-month sentence he served just 45 days.
From all appearances, Mark Wahlberg is a changed man but right now, his past has come back to haunt him.