Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Mark Wahlberg's victims divided over his pardon request

From the AP via AOL:

Victims of one of Mark Wahlberg's racially motivated attacks as a teenage delinquent in segregated Boston in the 1980s are divided over whether he should be granted a pardon for his crimes.

Kristyn Atwood was among a group of mostly black fourth-grade students on a field trip to the beach in 1986 when Wahlberg and his white friends began hurling rocks and shouting racial epithets as they chased them down the street.

"I don't think he should get a pardon," Atwood, now 38 and living in Decatur, Georgia, said in an interview with The Associated Press.

More here.

A friend of mine posted the above linked article on my facebook page, and asked me what I think.  Here's what I said:

I'm all for forgiveness, generally speaking. And Wahlberg really does seem to have turned his life around. So there's that.

But there's also the question of what it means "to be a racist." I'm of the opinion that there is a massive component of psychological/social conditioning as far as racism goes, which means I've got racism down deep inside of me, too, in spite of the fact that I have consciously chosen to reject racism as a point of view. That is, you can't just decide to end your own personal racism. It's much more complicated than that. You can only make an effort to be vigilant about what might pop into your mind at any minute given the circumstances.

However, I would guess that Wahlberg's doing at least as well as I am in that respect. So give him a break.

Of course, there are thousands of black guys convicted as teens for doing stupid shit who will definitely never get a pardon for their stupid shit. Why does Marky Mark get this privilege when they don't?

Really, like I said, I'm all for forgiveness, and we should offer pardons to black guys, too, who were stupid when they were teenagers. That would be fair.