What is wrong with everyone? With society?
When did we forget how to have discussions about our mistakes and the lessons we learned?
When did we start operating on permanent pitchfork mode, moving from target to target?
Let me make something clear – I do not think that Liam Neeson is a dirty racist.
I think that the reaction to his comments are outrageous. I think people have lost their minds and have been dragged into this vapid cesspit of judgement and unfairness.
What did he actually say?
“I’ll tell you a story, this is true.
“I’m not going to use any names, but I was away, and I came back. And she told me she had been raped.
“But she handled the situation of the rape in the most extraordinary way.
“But my immediate reaction was…
“I asked, did she know who it was? No.
“What colour were they? She said it was a black person.
“I’ve gone 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 b*****d would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, y’know?
“So that I could… kill him.
“It took me a week, maybe a week and a half, to go through that.
“And she says to me, ‘Where are you going?’, and I say, ‘I’m just going out for a walk, y’know?’
“She says, ‘What’s wrong?’ … ‘Nothing’s wrong, I’m fine’.
“It was horrible, horrible, when I think back, but I did that. And I’ve never admitted that. And I’m saying it to a journalist. God forbid.
“It’s awful. But I did learn a lesson from it.
“When I eventually thought, ‘What the f**k are you doing?’ Y’know?
“And I come from a society – I grew up in Northern Ireland in the Troubles – and that, y’know, I, I knew a couple of guys that died on hunger strike and I had acquaintances who were very caught up in the Troubles, and I understand that need for revenge.”
So what does this all mean?
Was what Liam thinking disgusting? Yes
Were his actions abhorrent? Yes.
Were his actions violent? Yes.
Were his actions racist? Yes.
HOWEVER. That’s not where this thought process should end. We shouldn’t judge the man based on a thought and actions which he had 40 years ago without considering what the fallout and consequence was.
Did the man learn a lesson? Yes.
Did he take corrective action? Yes.
Does he regret his thoughts? Yes.
Does he regret his actions? Hell yes!
THAT’S THE ENTIRE POINT OF HIS STATEMENT. HE REGRETS IT. HE KNOWS HE MESSED UP.
If Liam was admitting to something he did last week without any regret – sure, let’s go after the man. Let’s punish that racism. But that’s not what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about a man who thought and did something bad, who realised it was bad and now is reflecting on that feeling of regret.
And YES, I know! It’s by the grace of God that Liam did not find a black man to kill those 40 years ago. But we all make mistakes. We’ve all heard stories that made us feel blind rage – rage that is dictated by what we absorb from the societies that we live in. Some people action that rage and follow through with actions that they can’t take back.
Others are provided with the opportunity to reflect on their own evil. It seems like Liam understands he had slipped up, big time. He acknowledges this was barbaric.
In my view, he provides a lessons for others – he demonstrates that everyone has choices that they can make and that when we make mistakes we need to reflect on them to become better people.
So let’s put the pitchforks away.
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