A shocking video which appears to show the racially motivated bullying of a three-year-old white girl by her five-year-old black neighbors is not what it appears say the father’s of the children involved.
Two clips uploaded to Facebook and entitled ‘When white people pi** black people off’, show a heartbreaking scene–a little Minneapolis girl trying to play with another group of girls who are encouraged to hit, push and verbally abuse the toddler at the encouragement of an older boy off camera.
Outraged viewers quickly seized upon the videos as evidence of racism and unleashed a torrent of threatening calls at the parents of the bullying children–who had no idea the incident had been filmed, let alone posted online and rushed to apologize to the equally clueless parents of the victim.
In the videos, which have been watched with horror by over 250,000 people, a little girl is seen sitting on a plastic bike as two older girls yell, ‘you ugly’ at her.
Identified as Mackenzie Peterson, the toddler, who is sitting on her small tricycle is seemingly spat at by one of the girls, who has been indentified as being a neighbor and five-years-old.
Another girl grabs Mackenzie’s hand and begins to hit her with it.
‘Why you hitting yourself? Why you hitting yourself’, the older boy filming, identified as the 12-year-old brother of the girls, asks.
Beginning to cry loudly, the bullies leave the toddler in the middle of the street in her tricycle and another clip shows the girl off her trike and still attempting to play as one of the girls says ‘hit her hard and slap her head like this.’
In a wrenching scene, little Mackenzie attempts to share a toy with one of the older girls, but the older boy interrupts and tells her to ‘throw it on the ground’–which she does, causing the girl to cry and run to pick it up.
But as the three-year-old bends down to pick the toy up the other girls rush over to hit her.
Initially, the video was traced to a Facebook page for someone named Ray Wright, but that page has now been taken down and since revealed to be a fake account set up by the 12-year-old boy.
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.
However, the problems began when the video began to spread virally across the Internet, leading to the parents of both children being identified.
Shocked and angered people began to make threatening calls to the father of the 12-year-old and younger girls, who has been identified by the MailOnline as ‘Eddie’ to protect his identity.
Viewing the video for himself, Eddie walked across to his neighbor Shawn Peterson to explain and apologize for his children bullying his daughter, which he had no idea about.
‘I wasn’t happy with the video, obviously,’ said Mackenzie’s father, Shawn Peterson, to MyFoxTwinCities. ‘I am disgusted with it.’
Explaining that the first he heard that hundreds of thousands of people had seen his daughter being bullied on the Internet was when Eddie told him, Shawn said that he trusted his neighbor to do the right thing.
‘He’s taking care of it. Trust me,’ Shawn told FOX 9. ‘He’s a good father and everything like that, so I’m not worried about what he’s doing over there.’
Refuting claims online from outraged viewers that his children were racially bullying Mackenzie Peterson, Eddie said that is not what his children are brought up to think.
‘I honestly don’t know where it comes from. We don’t teach that in our household,’ Eddie, the father of the girls involved, said. ‘We’re not racist, none of that.’
Eddie and Shawn said that their children usually play together and added that the incident had been blown out of all proportion.
‘She’s not that way. You can see she’s–they’re–clearly getting coached through the whole situation,’ said Eddie about his five-year-old girl. ‘When I saw it, I was disgusted with the video–very disgusted.’
Eddie said that his 12-year-old son was being disciplined for his role in the affair, with his Internet and television privileges being taken away.
And while both father’s have said that the matter is in hand, police did confirm they stopped by to check on the situation, but left satisfied there was no larger issue.