A shocking video was captured of a 3-year-old toddler allegedly being “racially bullied” by older children. The footage sparked an uproar after it was posted to Facebook.
Mackenzie Peterson was identified as the 3-year-old white toddler who appears in a video that frequently makes its rounds on social media, sparking an uproar and outrage each time it emerges once again. In the disturbing footage, Mackenzie appears to be “racially bullied” by her slightly older black neighbors.
Two clips of the incident were originally uploaded to Facebook and titled, “When white people p*ss black people off,” and they captured a heartbreaking scene. As the little Minneapolis girl, who’s seen sitting on her tricycle, tries to play with two older black girls, the older girls are encouraged to hit, push, and verbally abuse the toddler by an older boy, who remains off-camera.
It was later learned that the older boy, who’s heard encouraging the bullies, was the black girls’ 12-year-old brother, who shot the footage and uploaded it to Facebook, where it quickly went viral much to his family’s dismay. Viewers, who watched in horror, quickly became outraged, calling the videos evidence of racism. A torrent of threatening calls was unleashed on the parents of the bullying children, who had no idea the incident had been filmed and posted online.
The black children’s dad rushed to apologize to the parents of the victim, who were equally clueless that the incident had even occurred, Daily Mail reported. Both sets of parents have said that there is no problem and everything has been settled amicably, denying that the incident was racially motivated, but some find that a little hard to believe after seeing the video.
In the footage, the two older girls yell, “You ugly,” at the toddler as she sits on her plastic tricycle. Mackenzie is also seemingly spat at by one of the girls, who was later identified as a 5-year-old neighbor. Another girl grabs Mackenzie’s own hand and uses it to make the toddler hit herself. “Why you hitting yourself? Why you hitting yourself,” asks the 12-year-old brother of the bullies as he films the incident.
Mackenzie is bullied mercilessly by the other girls until she’s brought to tears. After Mackenzie begins to cry loudly, the bullies leave her in the middle of the street on her tricycle, but the incident doesn’t end there. In another clip, Mackenzie is seen off her trike, still attempting to play as one of the girls says, “Hit her hard and slap her head like this.”
In a gut-wrenching scene, little Mackenzie attempts to share a toy with one of the older girls, but the older boy interrupts and tells his sister to “throw it on the ground.” Listening to their brother, Mackenzie’s tormentor throws the toy the toddler selflessly offered her onto the ground, causing the girl to cry and run to pick it up. As she bends down to pick the toy up, the other girls rush over to hit her.
The footage was initially posted on Facebook under the name “Ray Wright,” which turned out to be a fake account set up by the 12-year-old boy. When the video began to go viral across the internet, the parents of both children were identified, and both “Eddie,” the father of the bullying children, and Shawn Peterson, Mackenzie’s father, were upset by what they saw — and they weren’t alone.
Angry people began making threatening calls to the father of the black children. According to the dad, who’s been identified only as “Eddie” to protect his identity, he has no idea where his children learned such behavior but added that they have received appropriate punishment for their actions. He also said that, after viewing the video for himself, he apologized to Shawn for what his children did to Mackenzie.
Prior to Eddie’s apology, Shawn had no idea the incident even took place. “I wasn’t happy with the video, obviously,” Shawn admitted. “I am disgusted with it,” he told Fox News, but both Eddie and Shawn said they were dealing with the problem. “He’s taking care of it. Trust me,” Shawn said, adding that he trusted his neighbor to do the right thing. “He’s a good father and everything like that, so I’m not worried about what he’s doing over there.”
As for the allegations of “racial bullying,” Eddie said that is not the way his children were raised. “I honestly don’t know where it comes from. We don’t teach that in our household,” he said. “We’re not racist, none of that,” he added. Daily Mail also seemingly dismissed the “racism,” reporting that “while the video mentions the race of all the parties involved, at no point is any racial language used by the bullies towards the little girl.”
Further refuting any “racism” claims, Eddie and Shawn said that their children usually play together and claimed the incident had been blown out of all proportion. “She’s not that way,” Eddie said, referring to his 5-year-old daughter who bullied Mackenzie. “You can see she’s — they’re — clearly getting coached through the whole situation,” he added. “When I saw it, I was disgusted with the video — very disgusted.”
Indeed she was coached — by her brother. Addressing that issue, Eddie said his son was disciplined for his role in the incident and that his internet and television privileges had been being taken away, but is that enough? This boy, regardless of where he learned it, displayed some very disturbing, hateful behavior. Whether “racism” was the underlying reason for it or not, he needs some help before he influences others the way he did his sisters.
Parenting does matter, and this was a fail in many aspects, even if we believe it wasn’t “racist.” Not a single adult knew this happened until video emerged. Think about that for a second — kids were playing in the street, one of whom was just 3 years old, without any adult supervision. She got bullied and beaten, and none of the children were troubled enough by it to tell their parents. Then, there’s the 12-year-old with seemingly unrestricted access to a phone, internet, and social media. We can debate whether this is racism, but it clearly indicates a lack of parental supervision, and we should all agree that parents need to do better.