Chris Apassingok, an Alaskan teenager from a small remote village had just killed his first whale on a hunting trip and posted the images to social media. What happened next, it can be said, scarred the boy for life.
Liberals from around the world descended on the boy’s social media site and relentlessly harassed him with cyber bullying and even death threats, according to The Daily Mail. His mother says he hasn’t been the same since he was attacked by the online bullies.
Sixteen-year-old Apassingok comes from the Native American Siberian Yupik village of Gambell on the northwest side of Alaska. In April he went on a hunting trip to harpoon whales as both a rite of passage into manhood and to help feed the village.
Fortunately for the teenager and the village, he was able to harpoon a 57-foot bowhead whale and brought it back to shore successfully. There the family and villagers carved the meat from the carcass and posted the pictures to social media with glowing admiration.
But what was a source of pride for the boy and his family turned into a target of rage and ridicule when Paul Watson, founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, which advocates for the protection of whales, lashed out at Apassingok.
The post ridiculed the boy and his culture saying, “WTF, You 16-Year Old Murdering Little B******! Some 16-year old kid is a frigging ‘hero’ for snuffing out the life of this unique self-aware, intelligent, social, sentient being, but hey, it’s okay because murdering whales is a part of his culture, part of his tradition. I don’t give a **** for the bulls**t politically correct attitude that certain groups of people have a ‘right’ to murder a whale.”
The hate-filled post led to a storm of criticism and lashing out by others around the globe. Individuals resting comfortably in their homes, ignorant of the much-needed food whales provide to the village, attacked and threatened Apassingok.
Apassingok’s mother, Susan Aakapak Apatiki, took to social media in defense of her son, saying, “According to these animal rights activists or whatever the h*** they are, my son is a murderer, a cruel and evil heartless person. But my son will not be offended by their ignorance. Jesus was persecuted for nothing and yet He forgave His persecutors and still loved them. We’ll do the same and forgive them all. Just say a prayer over my son cause he’s still a child.”
She chided Watson for his ignorant criticisms, saying, “We struggle to buy gas, food, they risk their lives out there to feed us, while this Paul Watson will never have to suffer a day in his life. Why is he going after a child such as my son?”
Apassingok has been deeply affected by the cyber bullying. His mother said after the hunt he’s struggling in school, hardly speaks to anyone, and is in a much darker mood.
Though Watson has removed his original post, he remains unapologetic for the damage his words have caused, saying his stance against whaling “has been my position of 50 years and it will always be my position until the day I die.”
It’s upsetting to see these “activists” criticize a teenager in a far-flung part of the world for reasons they can’t even begin to fathom. The villagers in the area have been hunting whales for over 2,000 years and have permission from the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission to hunt a certain amount every year. The whale meat from these hunts is estimated to bring in between 600 to 1,000 tons of much-needed food for the village to live on.
At the time of this article, the village is still sustaining themselves with the meat from Apassingok’s whale.