Wednesday, December 10, 2014

An Open Letter To Mark Wahlberg

Dear Mark,

I kinda like you as an actor; loved The Italian Job, loved Boogie Nights; am still trying to forgive you for The Happening.

But this isn’t about your film career, is about you. I read all the time what a standup guy you are; a staunch supporter of our troops and, more importantly, our veterans when they come home; I read that you’re a doting dad and a loving husband.

But then I also read that you haven’t always been such a good guy. I read that, in 1988, at age sixteen, you were a bit of a thug, into crimes and drugs, and one night you and some friends decided to still some liquor from a convenience store. In the process, the Vietnamese owner of the store caught you, and you beat him, causing him to go blind in one eye, and then you beat another Vietnamese man with a stick.

I, too, was a bit of a rebel at sixteen. I once took my Mom’s car without permission, though, luckily, no one lost an eye. But I digress…

Now I hear that you want the law, and also all of us, to kind of forget about that, and have yourself pardoned for your crime and have your record expunged.

A few stories going around as to why, and why now:

Story #1: as co-owner of Wahlburgers, a hamburger joint, you want to expand the franchise throughout California but this pesky felony conviction will stop you from making any more money; except that you’re doing it anyway.

Story #2: as a huge supporter of the military and veterans — and good on you, as I said, for that — you would like to become a reservist and, again, that pesky felony conviction won’t allow it.

Story #3: you say your past conviction might stop you from working with law enforcement to help at-risk youth to the degree you want, but you do that anyway.

And so you filed an application with the Massachusetts Board of Pardons that read, in part:
“I am deeply sorry for the actions that I took on the night of April 8, 1988, as well as for any lasting damage that I may have caused the victims. Since that time, I have dedicated myself to becoming a better person and citizen so that I can be a role model to my children and others.”
Well, Mark, here’s my take: can that Asian man, whom you blinded over a case of booze, now suddenly see? No. So, every day that man wakes up — and he wasn’t the only person you attacked that night, nor was he the first person you ever beat up — remembering how he used to be able to see and now he can’t because some dickhead who has now become a rich movie star hit him in the face with a stick.

I’m all for forgiveness, and I’m all for growth, and if you want the forgiveness fine; I hope your victims can forgive you. But, if you want to be pardoned — which basically means you never did the crime — because you want to open more burger joints or want to become a part-time military man, well,  too bad for you.

When you commit a crime, you take the punishment, and you don’t get the crime expunged because it’s hard on you if you can’t. I still think you need to wake up every day, in your posh Beverly Hills home, remembering what you did. That store owner does not have his sight back and never will, so why should you get a pass?

We might forgive you, but should we forget? And should you, legally, at least, be allowed to act os though this never happened?

But that’s just me.


the dogs' mother said...

I wonder if he ever financially *compensated* his victims once he became a big movie star?

the dogs' mother said...

ah, nope...
"He said the right thing to do would be to try to find the blinded man and make amends, and admitted he has not done so, but added that he was no longer burdened by guilt: "You have to go and ask for forgiveness and it wasn't until I really started doing good and doing right by other people, as well as myself, that I really started to feel that guilt go away. So I don't have a problem going to sleep at night. I feel good when I wake up in the morning."[14]

From Wikipedia

Bob Slatten said...

See, he's doing this for himself, and only for himself, with no thought for the victim[s] of his crimes.

anne marie in philly said...

douchebag! don't eat his burgers, don't go to his movies.

Professor Chaos said...

Didn't he also beat up a man for being gay? Or bedause Wahlberg thought he was gay? Maybe i have him mixed up with a different scumbag

Biki Honko said...

No Pardon! He is not the least bit sorry about how he impacted this man's life. If he were, he would be sending him a check each and every month to help out.

Washing my hands of you Wahlberg

Raybeard said...

On the lines of Prof Chaos above I have some recollection of M.W.s homophobia too, though rather vaguer than that story. I think it arose out of his being nominated for some award as 'sexiest' or 'most fanciable' by readers of some gay magazine in his Marky Mark days - and he felt that he had to show that HE wasn't gay (perish the thought!).

Helen Lashbrook said...

I have some sympathy for those who commit idiocies in their youth and want the records offset. But when the perpetrator shows no remorse then why should the state 'forgive' them? Would most people be so cavalier after blinding someone? I hope not.

Mitchell is Moving said...

I was appalled when I read about Wahlberg's request. I'm glad Wahlberg has been able to overcome his rocky start. But, just because he's rich and famous it doesn't give him the right to have the slate wiped clean. What about all the other people who turned their lives around? (And the reasons he cites are ludicrous.)

matt said...

He did not blind the Asian guy. He came forward and said so.

Bob Slatten said...

Matt, you're right. It does appear that the Vietnamese man wasn't blinded, but he was the victim of a hate crime spree that Wahlberg was on that night. Here's the arrest report:

At approximately 9:00 p.m. on April 8, 1988 Thanh Lam, a Vietnamese adult male who resides in Dorchester, traveled by car to 998 Dorchester Avenue, Dorchester Massachusetts. At 998 Dorchester Avenue, Thanh lam left his car carrying two cases of beer. As he crossed the sidewalk, Mark Wahlberg attacked Thanh Lam. Wahlberg was carrying a large wooden stick, approximately five feet long and two to three inches in diameter. Wahlberg approached Thanh Lam calling him a 'Vietnam f****** s***', then hit him over the head with the stick. Thanh Lam was knocked to the ground uncoscious. Th stick broke in two and was later recovered from the scene. Thanh Lam was treated overnight at Boston City Hospital.
After police arrested Wahlberg later on the night of April 8, 1988, Wahlberg was informed of his rights and returned to the scene of 998 Dorchester Avenue. In the presence of two police officers, he stated: 'You don't have to let him identify me, I'll tell you now that's the mother-f***** who's head I split open', or words to that effect.

(a) Count II:
As a police officer arrived at the scene of 998 Dorchester avenue, Wahlberg and two other youths who were with him fled up Dorchester Avenue toward Pearl Street.
Shortly after 9:00 p.m. on April 8, 1988, Hoa Trinh, an adult Vietnamese male who resides in Dorchester, was standing several blocks away from 998 Dorchester Avenue, near the corner of Dorchester Avenue and Pearl Street. Hoa Trinh was not aware of the altercation outside of 998 Dorchester Avenue,
Wahlberg ran up to Hoa Trinh, put his arm around Hoa Trinh's shoulder, and said: 'Police coming, police coming, let me hide'. After a police cruiser passed, Wahlberg punched Trinh in the eye, causing him to fall to the ground.
Police arrived and Hoa Trinh identified Wahlberg as the person who punched him. Wahlberg was placed under arrest and read his rights. Thereafter he made numerous unsolicited racial statements about 'g***s' and 'slant-eyed g***s'. After being returned to 998 Dorchester Avenue, Wahlberg identified Thanh Lam as the person he his over the head with a stick.