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Philosopher and neuroscientist, Sam Harris has some interesting views on Taken movie actor, Liam Neeson’s controversy. He was sharing his thoughts on racism on YouTube’s Joe Rogan Experience
Sam’s thoughts on the Liam Neeson Controversy
”I wanted to kill a random black person”, is this thought violent, inappropriate and horrific? Most certainly. Is it racist? Well, it does sound like that but Sam Harris believes that the thought process behind it is much deeper.
Making Sense podcast host was sharing his views with Joe Rogan on Liam Neeson’s will to kill anyone of an African-American origin. The Taken actor was promoting his Cold Pursuit movie and was sharing a real-life story of a friend who was raped by a black man more than 41 years ago. Liam Neeson was probably in his Cold Pursuit character during the film promotion too and got carried away.
I went up and down areas with a cosh [weapon of his choice], hoping I’d be approached by somebody. I’m ashamed to say that. I did it for maybe a week, hoping any ‘black bastard’ would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could … kill him.
People started calling Taken actor Liam Neeson a racist. Making Sense podcaster Sam Harris called this disclosure disturbing. Liam’s account was not synonymous with racism, he added. He shared the science behind what that Hollywood actor might be thinking at the time.
This is how every blood feud in human history started. Like, “someone from your tribe killed my brother and now I want to kill anyone from the other tribe, no matter who. Now, that’s clearly as toxic as it can get but it’s not racism. We call it “instrumental violence”.
What Harris means here is that Taken actor Liam Neeson’s was not exactly targetting a particular race. A man of African-American ethnicity raped his friend, so he wanted to avenge by harming anyone of the same ethnic group. If the rapist was of some other origin, the Schindler’s List star would have wanted the same fate for him.
It could’ve been an English guy or any other type. It was the salience of the “tribe” he was reacting to.
I believe the host’s reaction to the Liam Neeson controversy was rational and the science behind it makes sense too. Liam later apologized and said that he was ashamed of what he said.
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