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Crazy idea: Mark Wahlberg should apologize for hate crime *before* asking for a pardon

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Mark Wahlberg is seeking a pardon for the various hate crimes he has underneath his belt. You may not know this, but Mark Wahlberg has quite an impressive record when it comes to terrorizing people of color. In 1988, Wahlberg approached a Vietnamese man, whom he called “A Vietnam f*cking sh*t,” and then hit on the head with a wooden stick, breaking it in half and knocking the man unconscious. He fled the police and punched a second man in the face, also Vietnamese, because he’s productive and consistent like that, leaving the victim blind in one eye.  After he was arrested, Wahlberg made several statements about “go*ks” and “slant-eyed go*ks.”

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Wahlberg has been very inclusive in his hate crimes. He also, for instance, chased after African American school children, calling them “n*ggers,” and hit two female school children with rocks.

Though he was charged with attempted murder, Walhberg pleaded guilty to assault, and was given two years and served 45 days.

As if serving less than two months in jail for blinding and assaulting people based on their ethnicity isn’t hard enough, Wahlberg has been more scarred than the victims of his crimes. How? Yes, he’s been able to be a model, a singer, an actor and an entrepreneur. And Forbes estimates his net worth at $200 million.

And yet, Wahlberg’s felony conviction, “can potentially be the bases to deny me a concessionaire’s license in California and elsewhere.”  This isn’t just a hypothetical denial of liberty. This is a huge deal for Wahlberg, who owns Wahlburgers restaurant. I can only hope the restaurant’s food is as delicious as its name is clever.

But it’s not about the liquor license. It’s about principle, something Wahlberg has a lot of. In his petition for a criminal pardon to Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick , he explains,

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I am deeply sorry for the actions that I took on the night of April 8, 1988, as well as for any lasting damage 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… My hope is that, if I receive a pardon, troubled youths will see this as an inspiration and motivation that they too can turn their lives around.

Of course, Wahlberg’s becoming a role model and better person involves seeking the forgiveness of his victims, right? Well, not exactly. In an ABC interview, Wahlberg revealed that he hadn’t yet gotten around to it. But you know what? Who cares? Not Wahlberg. Because at the end of the day, the important thing is to forgive yourself. As he explains in the interview,

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.

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I’m glad Walhberg ins’t worrying his boxy big head over how his victims feel when they wake up in the morning, or, like, ever.


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https://twitter.com/neal_katyal/status/1296448357821566976

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