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Mon Feb 4, 2019, 04:34 PM

Liam Neeson interview: Rape, race and how I learnt revenge doesn't work

It was some time ago. Neeson had just come back from overseas to find out about the rape. “She handled the situation of the rape in the most extraordinary way,” Neeson says. “But my immediate reaction was…” There’s a pause. “I asked, did she know who it was? No. What colour were they? She said it was a black person.

“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 [Neeson gestures air quotes with his fingers] ‘black bastard’ would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could,” another pause, “kill him.”
All three of us know – Neeson, Bateman and I – that this is a distressing admission. “I come from a society – I grew up in Northern Ireland in the Troubles – and, you know, 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, but it just leads to more revenge, to more killing and more killing, and Northern Ireland’s proof of that. All this stuff that’s happening in the world, the violence, is proof of that, you know. But that primal need, I understand.”


Heh. I too grew up the troubles - not sure that washes.... at all.... Although there is an inbuilt taught racism in NI which is akin to the bible belt in the US. You have too actively de-programme yourself - or seemingly not as the case may be

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