One of the most famous film stars, Liam Neeson, stunned an audience when he made an astonishing admission. Neeson said that after a friend of his had been raped, and he had established the rapist was black, he went out hoping to get an opportunity to kill a “black b*stard”.
Neeson thought that he was illustrating why revenge is a dangerous thing and how it can lead to escalating violence. He was bringing this up to illustrate his thoughts on the theme in his new film.
Neeson put his actions in terms of wanting revenge against the black rapist squarely in the same category as the religious violence in Ireland between Protestants and Catholics. The mentality of revenge against a group is essential to understanding sectarianism.
Neeson did not appear to be talking about any racial aspect being wrong, but about revenge itself and how revenge is a “primal” urge. The racial angle seemed unimportant to him.
Neeson seemed not to realise that his comment would be taken so badly. It caused horror and condemnation from every opinion maker and millions of social media users. An article in the Guardian, for example incorrectly assumes that it was racial hatred that Neeson was calling “primal” and takes issue with that.
Pretty much everyone heard what Neeson said as being a story of how he would blame all black men for the actions of one. The story is so controversial because it is seen as how White people want to blame and abuse all blacks; projection at it’s finest.
In fact it would not be one bit surprising if Neeson has never thought much about race and that he has various categories of collectives he would instantly blame for the actions of the few (or one).
For example – Neeson might blame the English because of the actions of Oliver Cromwell and would understand the Irish who hold a grudge against them. Perhaps he would blame the German people for what happened in World War Two.
Our media, education system and culture is obsessed with encouraging anyone, no matter their race, to hold all White people responsible for any inconvenience a non-white ever suffered.
Blacks blaming White people is acceptable. Jews blaming all Germans is acceptable. Women blaming men in general for the actions of any scumbag rapist like the director Harvey Weinstein or a Pakistani child abuser is also acceptable in our culture.
There is a general template there that you actually should blame a whole group of people for what one or a few do, but only if you are blaming Whites or blaming men. This of course is rather stupid. Blame those who actually did something bad – not anyone who resembles them and is innocent. Inherited guilt is a Jewish religious belief.
Liam Neeson didn’t understand the reaction he got – and there is as yet no evidence he does comprehend it – but he has really put his foot in his mouth and his career is surely finished.