‘Lynching is a premeditated extrajudicial killing by a group. It is most often used to characterize informal public executions by a mob in order to punish an alleged transgressor, or to intimidate a group.’
Today is February 5th 2019. On February 3rd
2019, absolutely nothing of Liam Neeson’s entire career would lead you to
suspect him of ever having hunted black men for a week in hopes of murdering
one; but now we know different.
A recent interview with The Independent revealed that when
Neeson discovered a member of his
family had been raped; he asked 2 questions:
“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.”
So is Liam Neeson a magical racist unicorn or was he too stupid to actually
admit to how many others feel?
It begins and ends with your granddad. Lynching parties (more on that later) would see the whole town came out to watch black people murdered by a white mob. But naturally the whole town wouldn’t come out. And even if it was one family, that one family knew it was evil and decided not to participate.
What does this have to do with granddad? Well if your granddad is racist because of the time period he was born in despite clear evidence of white allies at anti-racist marches and grandparents now who are resolutely anti-racist; maybe your granddad is a ignorant little bigot and you simply don’t want to admit it.
And please stop condemning an entire generation simply because your granddad was an ignorant coward who was either too stupid to know better or too much of a coward to speak up. There are way too many very white anti-racist activists from a time further back than your granddad for this to be about anything other than your granddad being a racist coward.
Black men and women die in exactly the same way as they did then. Today they’re called ‘unprovoked attacks’ then they were called ‘lynching’s’
Lynching wasn’t just ‘We’re racists! Death to black people!’ it was about community. When the black victim was eventually set on fire; it was a common practise to once the burning body had cooled down to pull off a finger or a toe and send it to a far away family member with a lynching postcard.
Lynching’s have nothing to do with revenge.
They were a way of white people venting their frustration. In the same way the
audience yell, scream and swing their fists watching a fight. They project
their own enemies and frustrations on to a screaming black body pleading for
their life. Maybe they see their boss, their father, their ex-husband; what
they certainly don’t see is an innocent black man. Black people aren’t human to
them; so are a perfect vessel to vent their frustrations.
Neeson’s confession lands on what should’ve
been Trayvon Martin’s 24th birthday. Another victim of a lynching.
Another victim of someone needing to vent their frustrations on something he
characterised as less than human. Zimmerman was repeatedly told not to follow
Martin and he refused
‘These assholes, they always get away’
Zimmerman didn’t need to be white to hate and target a black child; the same way white men did Emitt Till. It wasn’t about protecting his area; the same way it wasn’t about justice for Liam’s family member; it was, as it always is, their blackness blocking out their humanity for white people.
Unsurprisingly some white people are praising Liam Neeson for his honesty and the fact that he acknowledged the wrong in his actions (he acknowledged revenge was wrong; but not the fact that he wanted to murder ANY black person for the actions of one.)
When these stories hit social media you tend to see a
familiar group emerge. The latest batch of R Kelly revelations still brought defenders
out of the woodwork. And of course Liam wanting to murder black people brings
much the same.
It’s not because they don’t see any wrong in the actions. They’re trying to normalise the behaviour. Not only do they agree with it but they hope that when the finger is pointed at them they will have more (ideally ‘all’) people on their side.
They want to normalise Liam Neeson’s thoughts of violence towards ANY black men because they feel the same and they’d prefer a world where they weren’t’ shamed for it.