Fans and celebrities alike were shocked and appalled at Liam Neeson’s racist confession about wanting to “kill a black bastard.”
However, Michelle Rodriguez has come forward to defend the actor’s indefensible words.
She claims that he cannot be racist, because … he kissed Viola Davis in a movie.
On Wednesday night, Michelle Rodriguez spoke to Vanity Fair at the amfAR Gala New York.
She attempted to defend Liam Neeson over this scandal, and she did not mince words.
“It’s all f–kin’ bullshit,” Michelle claims, adding: “Liam Neeson is not a racist.”
The actor had confessed to having, sought out trouble in the hopes that he would have an excuse to murder a black man.
“Dude, have you watched Widows?” Michelle asks. “His tongue was so far down Viola Davis’s throat.”
Therefore, she asserts: “You can’t call him a racist ever.”
“Racists don’t make out with the race that they hate,” Michelle apparently believes.
“Especially in the way he does with his tongue,” she argues. “So deep down her throat.”
“I don’t care how good of an actor you are,” she adds.
“It’s all bulls–t,” she claims, instructing: “Ignore it.”
“He’s not a racist,” she repeats. “He’s a loving man. It’s all lies.”
That’s certainly a new twist on the I’m not racist, I have black friends argument.
As you may recall, Liam Neeson’s confession begins in a heartbreaking, sympathetic manner.
Many years ago, someone close to him had been sexually assaulted.
Though the woman did not know the identity of the rapist, Liam had asked, and she had told him that the man was black.
Liam had gone out with a cudgel in the hopes that a black man, emerging from a pub, would attack him.
For a week or a week and a half, he continued this routine.
He was not merely seeking a fight — he was, he says, hoping for an excuse to kill a “black bastard.”
What he is describing is intent to commit a lynching based upon racial hatred against a random black man.
The world’s most influential showrunner, Shonda Rhimes, probably said it best.
She tweeted: “The lack of historical context, bias blindness, and willful ignorance required to open one’s mouth and say this about racism is mind boggling.”
It is absolutely understandable that Liam’s friends might feel sorry for him.
But Michelle Rodriguez’s claims just do not make sense.
We’ll break it down for you.
First of all, Michelle seems to view “racist” by the narrowest possible definition — as a member of the KKK.
Very few, even among white ethno-nationalists, are willing to describe their views as “racist.”
Whatever one’s views on Liam Neeson as an actor or as a person, it is difficult to portray his confession as anything but one of racism.
He wanted to find a random black man and kill the man.
It is extremely understandable to want to kill a rapist. But that is not exactly what happened here.
Exacting revenge upon a random black man for the wrongdoing of another whom you cannot find is a real thing that has happened many times in America.
One of its most notorious forms has been lynching.
Also, Michelle’s belief that kissing Viola Davis is “proof” that he’s not racist is … absolutely absurd.
First of all, everyone wants to kiss Viola Davis. She’s a treasure and she’s beautiful.
But second of all, racists have sex with women of color all of the time.
Sometimes, they marry women of color and have children with them.
You can find no shortage of people’s stories about those experiences on the internet.
If you’re having trouble believing it, remember that the vast majority of misogynists marry women despite their misogyny.
Liam Neeson’s racist confession may or may not tank his career.
However, many have written about how people from racist, hard-right, and otherwise bigoted backgrounds can grow and change as people.
(Obviously, if Liam had acted upon his murderous impulse, we would be having a very different conversation)
This is a very difficult time in our culture, when white nationalists seek to exploit fears and racism to change the ethnic makeup of the United States.
Ractions to racism are strong and very justifiably emotional.
Many connected Liam’s past desire to how some police appear to have felt right before shooting unarmed black men.
This is serious, but Liam can redeem himself in the public eye, but it will take time.