This week Liam Neeson inserted himself onto the fast-growing list of public figures in the media who have revealed jarringly racist perspectives.
"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 (uses air quotes with fingers) 'Black bastard' would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could kill him."
He said this in a recent interview with The Independent, recalling his feelings following a rape against a friend, allegedly committed by a Black male.
One thing is for sure: this is absolutely unacceptable. Not only did he credit the actions of this man to his skin color, but he publicly admitted to associating the intentions of one twisted mind with those of an entire race — fueling an alleged mission to literally kill any Black man in response. This comment follows recent headlines of resurfaced photos in blackface and the attack against Jussie Smollett. Headlines after headlines, each stinging a little more than the last. It is disheartening. Moreover, it is quite tempting to throw our hands in the air and ask, “When will it all stop?”
What I suggest, though, is that the climate in the media is a good thing. I absolutely agree that it is upsetting to see such repeated acts of hatred, discrimination or, at the very least, ignorance. But isn’t it true that in order to grow as a society, we must create a space for people to make mistakes?