Turns out, Mark Wahlberg’s upbringing wasn’t the most positive. In fact, while growing up in Boston, the A-list Hollywood actor/director/producer, Wahlberg was jailed for racially motivated attacks.
Reportedly, Kristyn Atwood (38), a victim of one of Wahlberg’s racially charged assaults as a teenager in segregated Boston in the 1980s believes that he shouldn’t be granted a pardon for his crimes.
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 slurs, while chasing them down the street. She told the Associated Press:
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.
Meanwhile, Mary Belmonte, the white teacher who brought the students to the neighborhood beach that day, feels differently.
I believe in forgiveness. He was just a young kid — a punk — in the mean streets of Boston. He didn’t do it specifically because he was a bad kid. He was just a follower doing what the other kids were doing.
According to the AP, the actor wants official forgiveness for a separate, more severe attack in 1988, in which he assaulted two Vietnamese men while trying to steal beer. That attack sent one of the men to the hospital and landed Wahlberg in prison.
Last November, Wahlberg filed a pardon application which is now pending before the state parole board. In the doc, he acknowledges he was a teenage delinquent involved in drugs, alcohol and the wrong crowd. He points to his ensuing successful acting career, restaurant ventures and philanthropic work with inner city youths as evidence he’s turned his life around.
Last December, he told AP,
I have apologized, many times. The first opportunity I had to apologize was right there in court when all the dust had settled and I was getting shackled and taken away, and making sure I paid my debt to society and continue to try and do things that make up for the mistakes that I’ve made.