Liam Neeson went hunting for "some black bastard" to murder after a woman he knew was raped

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At least he has enough self-awareness to feel ashamed of his own impulses.

Still, ick.


wow. what a header. that oughtta ring em in


Ugh. In the referenced article, Kuba Shand-Baptiste allows that Neeson might have learned a lesson from this experience, but after listening to the audio excerpt I’m not sure he’s learned the right lesson. What he went looking for was not “revenge” because he wasn’t going to find his friend’s assailant. He was going to find someone completely unrelated and kill them. By associating his “impulse” with the Troubles, Neeson implies that all black people are on the same “side” and that his friend’s rape was part of a larger conflict, that is, race war.

As horrific as Neeson’s week of “going for a walk” was, I’m just as outraged by his question to his friend:

“Do you know who it was?”


Instead of focusing on his friend and her trauma, he proceeds to ask:

“What colour were they?”

Who the fuck asks that?


Someone who hates black people.


Tribes. Tribes do that, Gangs do that, Soldiers to that, Nations do that. All the time.


I think by associating it with the troubles he probably associates it with a time when he lived in a society caught in a spiral of killing. His actions were extremely racist and the troubles were a horrific thing that did damage far beyond the lives they directly took. And some of the same people who participated in them are still around to start them up again if Brexit goes on the way its going.


Oh. That makes it acceptable, then.


Also, you seek revenge for yourself. Somebody else’s suffering might be a great excuse to go commit some violence. But it’s not revenge, it’s just an excuse.


I think it’s more complicated than that. Our selves aren’t as bounded as the US individualist ideology would have us believe. On a silly level, it’s pretty easy for a lot of people to identify with John Wick’s murder spree because of the dog. And vendettas and slights are about vengeance, even though it can crystallize into hate.

I think the thing that actually makes racism and the like so very dangerous is that a black man talking to a white woman is an existential threat for some people. And people will do anything for self-preservation. And many of us don’t live in that reality, so we can trip the threat response without being aware of it.


I wonder what his response would have been had she said “blonde.”


Maybe he was doing method acting work ahead of a Taken movie? J/K

Or “grey”


I’d say that’s very much not what he’s doing.

The sectarian divide in northern Ireland is heavily misrepresented in the American imagination. It is very much not a situation of clear sides, or simple divides of the Irish (or even just Catholics) against the English.

At the core of it is very, very old ethnic and religious bias. Both the Republican groups and the Unionist groups, neither of which are supported or even liked by the bulk of the population. Are both hugely, and often openly, racist. And especially on the Unionist side deeply, nastily, anti-immigrant.

My read is that he’s specifically calling out that type of sides, us vs them arguement as a major part of what drives, and escalates violence. And how understandable fears and anger drive people to accept and internalize bias.

That’s a really common interpretation of The Troubles period, the situation in NI. And a really common way it’s used as a comparison point when discussing racism, and sectarian violence in other nations.


Wanting to hurt someone who just looks like someone who committed a heinous crime against someone that you care about sure sounds like primitive tribalism to me.


This is because of the Troubles, the attitude he had. If the guy was Irish, well he would have been looking for an “Irish bastard” … I’m sure lots of innocent red-headed folks in London got beaten up after a bomb or two went off over there.

This isn’t about a specific hatred for Black people, I don’t think. If the rapist was Asian, Indian or an Australian Aborigine, they would have faced Liam’s rage just the same.

Not saying any of this transference of anger is right or justified, but … he didn’t start a nationalist hate-group or press for discriminatory laws.


Oops, sorry! That was my mistake. It wasn’t meant to excuse the behavior. I was pointing out the dark, bleakness that is humanity and the futility of thinking we can fix it.


Racists who don’t quite realize just how fucking racist they are. Guys like this think they are not racist because “I’m not usually like this, it was just a moment I had.” But that moment tells a lot about your character. I knew plenty of guys like this growing up. I remember them using phrases very similar to this.


Liam Neeson is Irish. So that’s unlikely. And unlike the US where we assume all Irish are redheads, or all redheads are Irish. People who are actually there are pretty well aware that the Irish are mostly black haired, redheads are more common in Scandinavia and Scotland. And I’m not aware of any sort of redheaded bias growing out of the violence there.

This is what I was saying above about how Americans misunderstand this conflict. It is fundementally not about the Irish vs so and so.

It is fundementally about different sorts of Irish people hating each other for being slightly different flavors of Irish.

The vast majority of attacks took place in Ireland. Especially NI, and when these groups spread violence across borders. It was almost always in the Republic of Ireland (and those were primarily attacks by IRA groups rather than Unionist). There were only every a handful of mostly minor attacks in Great Britian/England.

It probably is. Northern Ireland has issues with that. And I believe the overall point and context is that acceptance of that sort of bias is a natural outgrowth of an environment defined by this sort of violence.


And during the troubles, NI was very tribal and very violent.

It shouldn’t make it acceptable, but it sure does make it common. And we should always be careful assuming that WE would be any better if we were raised in a terrible environment. Hands down the scariest book about the Holocaust was Ordinary Men which told the story of a reserve police unit that had the job of rounding up victims to be sent to concentration camps. A few of the members resisted, a few were enthusiastic, but most of them hated the work, but got used to doing it.