#FridayFeminist: Mark Wahlberg
“I took it upon myself to own up to my mistakes and go against the grain and not be a part of the gang any more – to say that I was going to go and do my own thing. Which made it 10 times more difficult to walk from my home to the train station, to go to school, to go to work. I prided myself on doing the right thing and turning my life around.” – Mark Wahlberg
Today’s #FridayFeminist is Mark Wahlberg?
Yes. After the week we’ve had, the racial unrest, the violence, protesting, and how obvious the requirement for globalized racial reform is, today’s birthday boy seemed like a good choice.
In June 1986, Mark Wahlberg and three of his friends chased three black kids, yelling “Kill the n*gger, kill the n*gger”, while throwing rocks at them.
A civil action was filed against Mark in August 1986, for violating the civil rights of his victims. The case was settled a month later.
In April 1988, Mark again assaulted someone, a middle-aged Vietnamese man, calling him a “Vietnam fucking shit” and knocking him unconscious with a piece of wood. Later the same day, he attacked a second Vietnamese man – he punched him in the eye!
During his arrest, when returned to the scene of the first assault, he told police officers: “I’ll tell you now that’s the mother-fucker whose head I split open.” The investigators said he “made numerous unsolicited racial statements using the words ‘g**k’ and ‘slant-eyed g**ks’”.
He has admitted to being high on PCP during that attack, as well as having been involved with gangs during that period of his life.
Mark was charged with attempted murder, and pleaded guilty to felony assault, but served only 45 days in jail of his two-year sentence.
In 2006, Mark asked to meet with his second victim to make amends, and in 2016, while requesting a pardon for his conviction for the assault, mentioned they had met, and he had apologized “for those horrific acts.”
Johnny Trinh, Mark’s second victim, had released a public statement of forgiveness in 2014.
After the statement, Mark applied for a pardon for his convictions, drawing controversy and debate because, as suggested by the BBC, Mark’s suitability for a pardon raised “difficult issues, with the arguments on both sides being far-reaching and complex”.
One of the black kids, a woman, that Mark attacked in 1986 opposed the pardon, saying, “If you’re a racist, you’re always going to be a racist.”
Mark’s prosecutor, Judith Beals, argued “Wahlberg has never acknowledged the racial nature of his crimes” and that a pardon would undermine his charity work, saying: “a formal public pardon would highlight all too clearly that if you are white and a movie star, a different standard applies. Is that really what Wahlberg wants?”
In September 2016, Mark’s petition was closed after he didn’t answer a request from the pardon board. Mark said he regretted his attempt to obtain a pardon, and it was closed. He has not been pardoned.
As a celebrity and an actor, Mark works closely with all races of people and presumably, gender. We see him on-screen doing it. Talking to Fox News about his latest Netflix series, Spenser Confidential, he suggests hiring an actor who has been in prison is an act of reform. He believes everyone deserves a second chance.
There is no denying Mark Wahlberg’s dedication to charity, and his support for front-line workers has been noted. Wahlburgers has dedicated themselves to feeding both the United States and Canada with their #WhateverYouNeed campaign.
Here’s what he has said about race, gangs, and his previous violence:
“I took it upon myself to own up to my mistakes and go against the grain and not be a part of the gang any more – to say that I was going to go and do my own thing. Which made it 10 times more difficult to walk from my home to the train station, to go to school, to go to work. I prided myself on doing the right thing and turning my life around.”
This week we’ve seen how, more than ever, it’s important for us to acknowledge and believe we live in a world that can be turned around. So, today, @markwahlberg is our #FridayFeminist.