Who are Thanh Lam and Hoa Trinh?
Thanh Lam is a Vietnamese man who bought two cases of beer in 1988.
Thanh Lam is a Vietnamese man who was verbally assaulted with racial slurs.
Thanh Lam is a Vietnamese man who was physically assaulted with a wooden stick that was approximately 5’ by 2-3”.
Thanh Lam is a Vietnamese man that Mark Wahlberg beat so hard that according to police reports, “Thanh Lam was knocked to the ground unconscious” and “the stick broke in two.”
Hoa Trinh is a Vietnamese man who had the misfortune of encountering Wahlberg on that same night in 1988.
Hoa Trinh is a Vietnamese man who was also verbally assaulted with racial slurs.
Hoa Trinh is a Vietnamese man who was also physically assaulted and punched in the eye so hard that he lost his vision.
Let that shit sink in.
I’ll give you a moment.
Ready to continue?
Because of Mark Wahlberg’s racial hate, two Vietnamese men had their lives irrevocably changed. Thanh Lam was knocked unconscious and sent to the hospital and Hoa Trinh lost his sight in one eye.
But justice was done, right? I mean, Wahlberg was arrested, convicted, and sentenced to two years imprisonment at the Plymouth House of Corrections, with three months to be served and the balance suspended. After a whole 45 days at the Deer Island House of Correction, Wahlberg was released.
How long do you think it took Hoa Trinh to learn to function with diminished eyesight or Thanh Lam to feel secure walking to and from his car? More than forty-five-fucking days, I’ll bet.
Wahlberg has insisted again and again that despite his prolific use of racial epithets, race did not motivate either attack. “During the incident, I was under the influence of alcohol and narcotics.”
Wait one hot minute, all that racism just happened because you were all turnt? No. Try again. Hate like that doesn’t just pop up overnight and to claim that you used that hate speech because you were fucked up, then you were just so socially lubricated that you felt comfortable enough to let your racist flag fly.
(If someone can find where he’s asked for forgiveness from those who wronged, please post it below. I cannot seem to find Wahlberg speaking on his teenaged brutality or his use of racial slurs in those incidents.)
According to various reports, Wahlberg wants this formal pardon so he can obtain a “concessionaire’s license to help him with his restaurant businesses, and he’d like to be able to help law enforcement, working with at-risk kids.” He claims that “I have not engaged in philanthropic efforts in order to make people forget about my past. To the contrary, I want people to remember my past so that I can serve as an example of how lives can be turned around and how people can be redeemed.”
And: “The more complex answer is that receiving a pardon would be a formal recognition that I am not the same person that I was on the night of April 8, 1988. It would be formal recognition that someone like me can receive official public redemption if he devotes himself to personal improvement and a life of good works.”
Well bully for you, Mark Wahlberg. I don’t believe that you deserve this official public redemption that you seek just because you’ve devoted yourself to a life of good works. You did racist, hateful things and you should not be allowed to forget them because your priest says your “life speaks for itself,” and that you’ve “really turned his life around in faith, family and giving back.”
No. Fuck that. No. Wahlberg committed not one, but TWO hate crimes against Vietnamese immigrants on the same night!
And were you aware of that time that he menaced school kids?
Yup. Two years earlier in 1986, Wahlberg and his friends attacked Jesse Coleman (12 year old black male) and his older siblings. Wahlberg and his friends menaced them using racial epithets. The next day, Jesse Coleman and his classmates were on a class field trip. Wahlberg and his two friends followed them on the street, again yelling racial slurs but this time, they started throwing rocks. Kristyn Atwood and Emily Harr were both struck with rocks. He and a pair of friends threw rocks at CHILDREN, like they were stray animals being shooed away from trash.
What. The. Ever. Living. Fuck.
Is Wahlberg sorry? I’m sure he is. Would he want it all to go away? Again, yes. Should he get a pardon? Hell to the no.
Hate crimes like these should not be pardoned just because a famous person regrets his actions. There needs to be accountability for crimes committed. If Wahlberg is pardoned, it will because of two decades of celebrity, NOT because he’s exhibited contrition. Besides, his apologies feel like apologies for getting caught, not because one might be remorseful for one’s actions.
And before you start playing devil’s fucking advocate or whingeing about giving people a second chance, don’t. Check every single one of your privileges right this minute. Right now. Do it. Because if you can’t conceive of what it feels like to be marginalized for something that you cannot change, you must be blessed with so much privilege, you don’t know what to do with yourself. So take your derailing tactics, your excuses, and your privilege and be gone.
It is important that no matter what Wahlberg says, these are hate crimes. Racial epithets were used in ALL of these cases. Misspent youth is one thing, racially-motivated crime is another. Teenaged Mark might have just wanted to continue getting his buzz on but newsflash! The moment he opened his mouth to use those hateful racial slurs toward Thanh Lam and Hoa Trinh, it was and IS a hate crime.
The moment he chose to throw rocks and shout epithets at Jesse Coleman, Kristyn Atwood, Emily Harr, and their classmates, it was and IS a hate crime.
Stop and reflect for a moment. Those last three names that I listed were schoolchildren… school children. We’re not even talking grown-ass men here. Mark Wahlberg and his friends made the conscious decision to throw rocks and yell at CHILDREN. Children on their way back from a field trip were terrorized by white teenagers throwing rocks at them and hearing racial slurs, so yeah… I don’t have time for any hazy revisionist history, that was and IS a hate crime.
Massachusetts Parole Board, do not pardon Mark Wahlberg.
Gov. Deval Patrick, do not pardon Mark Wahlberg.
Massachusetts Governor’s Council, do not pardon Mark Wahlberg.
Gov.-elect Charlie Baker, do not pardon Mark Wahlberg.
Do not send yet another message that being white in America means you can break the law with impunity. Just don’t.
Do not send yet another message that people of colour are worth less.
If you are curious, here is Wahlberg’s request for pardon, posted by The Boston Globe.