Liam Neeson a 66-year-old Irish actor, who many may know from Hollywood movies such as Taken & Walking Amongst The Tombstones, wanted to murder ‘any random black man’ after his female friend was raped 40 years ago. Liam in a press junket promoting his new movie “Cold Pursuit” outlined his previous beliefs about how he would have killed a random black man to avenge his female friend. The world has gone into utter uproar as the actor has been branded a “racist”.
What is Racism?
In the light of Liam Neeson’s comments, we need to interrogate the term racist?
A Racist is defined as, a person who shows or feels discrimination or prejudice against people of other races, or who believes that a particular race is superior to another.
However racism has been redefined in the mind of the progressive liberal social justice warrior to mean “prejudice plus power” — implying that only those in positions of power over others can be racist.
Calling Liam Neeson a racist at an individual level denotes a space of permanency, it’s a core part of who you are. As some people will agree from a psychological outlook, racism is a learnt behaviour. Therefore, for a man like Neeson, who said he thought like this 40 years ago, could have unlearnt this behaviour by now? Can we not trust that Liam Neeson, a grown man, could have unlearnt his behaviour by now? What more do people want?
Former England Footballer, John Barnes, came to the defence of Liam Neeson. He believes Neeson was brave for coming out and speaking so openly about what he believed.
What Liam Neeson did highlighted, was that 40 years ago, black men were not seen as human. Beliefs that are reminiscent of the former US presidential candidate Hilary Clinton’s. Clinton once referred to black men as “super-predators”.
Whilst it can be recognizable, Liam Neeson’s emotionally irresponsible logic, was the very same mentality that led to slavery and attitudes since; black people were hunted by dogs, lynched in America and there were countless other periods that the black body was subject to white cruelty.
The other side will say that Liam Neeson is a racist. But I urge them, to interrogate the actual definition of racism. Other arguments believe that Liam Neeson should be cancelled, and his career will not and should not survive this backlash.
It should be noted, that Neeson went on to say he got help. He admitted his unconscious bias. Interestingly, his latest comments actually reflect the characters he plays in most films, he is endowed with revenge, vengeance and utterly premeditated murder. Does this reflect on who he is deep down?
Neeson grew up in a volatile time where wars between the Protestants and Catholics ended in murder. He is from a particular era. At this stage, we can only thank god, that in that week he did not find a black person to kill. We are lucky he is here to tell his story and learnings from it. Can you forgive him?