Another day, another ‘shocking‘ reveal. Why is it February, Black History Month, and we are trying to decide whether a white man, admitting he wanted to kill any Black man he came across, was a racist thought to have? Then again, would it even be a true Black History Month without some type of controversy, involving a white person?
If you’ve been following the news lately, you’d have come across a flurry of articles or broadcasts about one, Liam Neeson. Known for his role as the revenge seeking father in the Taken movies series and many others, Neeson is seen by many as a great action hero. Little do we forget that these roles are just that, roles. When the director yells that’s a wrap, Bryan Mills (Neeson’s taken character), for example, is left on set and Neeson goes home. At least that’s what we assumed had been happening. In an interview with The Independent about his new film, Cold Pursuit, Neeson recounted a moment in his life when a friend shared with him that she was raped. He felt angered by the situation and pushed for details about his friend’s attacker. She mentioned that the rapist was a black man and Neeson lost it.
“I went up and down areas with a cosh, hoping I’d be approached by somebody – I’m ashamed to say that – and I did it for maybe a week, hoping some ‘black bastard’ would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could kill him.” (Neeson, 2019).
After reading the comments I was absolutely horrified. Here we have a white man admitting that some 40 years ago, the 1970s, he thought he would insert himself in his friend’s trauma and exact revenge on any black person that bothered him. Not once did he indicate that this was at the request of his friend, but more so an urge he had. Let’s, for a moment, not look at the obvious racism in his sentiment but look at how he made his friend’s trauma about him, then and now. This was something that happened to Neeson’s friend, not him. Had he carried out his act, he would have gotten away with it and felt justified because some ‘black bastard’ wronged his friend. What privilege!
As expected, the white fans came out in the thousands, sporting their #teamLiamNeeson banners across every social media platform, in his defence. To them, he had awful thoughts in the past but found a way to fix them. In short, all should be forgiven. Not so fast. It wasn’t much longer that I found ‘minorities’ also speaking out in support of Neeson. Again, not surprised. Whilst the support may be understandable, we cannot act like Neeson didn’t just confess to something abhorrent. Is he brave for doing so? OR Has this been sitting on his mind for so long that he needed to release it for some unknown reason? Whatever the case, here we are.
According to Neeson, he visited a priest and did power-walking to help with the urges he had. I suppose a good walk can cure one’s desire to kill innocent black people. I can’t. But how are we to know that he doesn’t still feel this way. What proof do we have that these urges won’t ever resurface? John Barnes, an English former professional footballer, seems to think that Neeson admitting this now is brave and he shouldn’t be bashed. Barnes goes on to say that Neeson deserves some sort off medal for this act of ‘bravery’.
As the English would say John Barnes is a complete bellend. Barnes went as far as blaming the media for its portrayal of black people as a catalyst for Neeson’s thoughts, then. I suppose the media broadcasted slavery to all of Europe and stigmatized the black skin tone. Hogwash! I wouldn’t really listen to anything Barnes has to say, given he was evicted from the Celebrity Big Brother UK house in January 2018 for making homophobic statements toward a fellow houseguest, Courtney Act. The thing is, 40 years ago, Barnes would have been a teen and Neeson would have been a young adult. Had Neeson crossed path with Barnes, he could have been the a victim of this ‘mistake’. Why he chooses to stay blind to that, is something he alone can answer.
A very vocal critic of this revelation is none other than the forever parched Piers Morgan. Piers has made it clear he thinks that Neeson’s admission is something out of the Klu Klux Klan’s playbook. In fact the headline in Piers’ Daily Mail article refers to Neeson being a ‘murderous racist’. I’ll let his people address that. Thanks Piers, but no thanks. We got this. We do not need someone like Piers, who ,after multiple evidence has been brought forward against a dear friend of his, refuses to acknowledge the truth. Piers is no ally and although he may be anti Neeson at the moment, this is nothing more than Piers living up to his brand of biased bullsh*t, selective ‘advocacy’ and his unhealthy fetish for controversy. Though a young Neesan harboured racist intentions for a whole week 40 years ago and though Piers appears to be extremely critical of him, do not be fooled by loud mouthed tv host. The only thing he’s consistent with is speaking out at the hot topic of the moment, as long as it’s not a dear friend of his. You, Piers, are no ally.
Neeson went on GMA to give a tv interview with Robin about his comments and to offer further ‘clarification’. He claimed that had if his friend told him it was any other person, he would have still felt he same. He attributed this to being raised in The Troubles and seeing all the bigotry around him. Of course, he declared he isn’t racist, and though he could be telling the truth about the Liam Neeson of today, 40 years ago, he was on a racist mission for a whole week. The fact is, he asked specifically what this rapist’s race was. I’m not sure what the climate was like back in the UK in the 70s but there must be a reason why he thought to ask his friend that question. Then again, it would be something that the authorities would have asked as well. I don’t know what really caused him to make this admission but it has shown me that there are many white people, who think like the Liam Neeson of 40 years ago, today and this is frightening. They seem to quickly offer up their forgiveness but the gag is this has anything to do with them. They made it seem like this is white people to have these moments of racism. The f***! That’s scary to me. This may be a reach but here goes. There’s a reason why people like Bundy and Alcala got away with so many kills before they were caught. They were never perceived to be a threat to anyone but yet they claimed so many innocent women’s lives.
I wouldn’t say shun Neeson but I would be cautious going forward if I were to be in his space. We all know man is capable of doing the most vile things imaginable, but history has shown us time and time again, what true barbarianism is.