We aren’t having the right conversation about Liam Neeson
Have you ever said or done something you didn’t truly mean while in a fit of rage? Something that shocked you because it’s so unlike your normal behavior?
Liam Neeson has.
Forty years ago, Neeson was so overcome with an animalistic rage—triggered by the horrifying rape of a loved one—that he had irrational thoughts. He regretted those thoughts, and sought counsel afterward. But still. He had the thoughts. And they were bad. Truly awful. So, as I’ve written about here and here, it is once again time for the public shaming of a person to commence.
In fact, the red carpet for his new movie premiere was already cancelled.
It all started on Feb. 4th, when the Independent released an article containing an interview with Neeson for a press junket promoting his new film, Cold Pursuit. While discussing the concept of revenge—a theme in his movie—he explained a time in his past when he was overcome by the desire for revenge.
He recounted that nearly 40 years ago, one of his loved ones was brutally raped by a black man. He detailed the shocking story of how he was so overcome with rage and the desire for revenge, that he went looking for a random black man who would start a fight with him, so he could kill him. It was a stunning and difficult confession that speaks to the dark and disturbing nature of revenge.
Following the release of the Independent article, a tidal wave of condemnation overtook social media. From Piers Morgan’s tweetstorm and ridiculous article, to articles like this in which Gary Younge actually writes, “The next time someone asks me why I have a chip on my shoulder, I need no longer brush the question away with disdain. I can say, with all sincerity: ‘Because there may well be an Oscar-nominated actor out there who wants to kill me, so I have to be alert at all times.’”
The insinuation is Liam Neeson wants to kill him because he’s black. Unbelievable. Younge is uninterested in the fact that the incident was 40 years ago, that it was under intense psychological and emotional duress, that nobody was actually hurt, and that Neeson has acknowledged how horrific, wrong, and unnatural his thoughts were. Younge also comes across as a rape apologist, referring to rape by a black man as a “racist trope,” rather than a horrifying reality for Neeson’s friend.
With the backlash intensifying, Neeson attempted to clarify his comments in an interview with Robin Roberts on Good Morning America. “I had never felt this feeling before, which was a primal urge to lash out,” he confessed with stark honesty.
Now we have to ask ourselves an important question: Do his thoughts speak more to a lifestyle of racism, or to the traumatizing psychological impact of the brutal rape of a loved one? Considering Neeson has no racist tendencies that we know of, I would lean towards the latter.
Neeson admitted to Roberts that he did seek help after he realized the depravity of his mindset, speaking with a priest, as well as confiding in friends. He did not continue on searching for black men to kill.
Roberts asked him if he would have reacted the same way if the rapist were white. “Oh definitely…I was trying to stand up for my dear friend, in this terrible medieval fashion,” he admitted. Neeson was refreshingly honest in the interview, knowing full well what the consequences would be: collective outrage aimed directly at him. And the outrage continues to rain down.
Collective outrage is a growing phenomenon because of the pervasiveness of social media. But it’s become increasingly clear that not all scandals are created equal.
It was only last year that the Sarah Jeong scandal erupted across the internet, after it was discovered that the newly hired New York Times editorial board member had tweeted out things like, “oh man it’s kind of sick how much joy I get out of being cruel to old white men,” and “#CancelWhitePeople.”
She claimed her statements were intended to be “counter trolling” to fight racism. So her thoughts, written down and proudly shared with the world, were granted the courtesy of “context.” She kept her job.
Yet, in the context of a brutal rape, people can’t possibly comprehend that one might have irrational, rage-filled thoughts. Instead, these thoughts must indicate underlying racism. And that 40-year-old racism must be harshly punished.
Rage isn’t a logical thought process. It’s pure emotion. A response from the limbic system when faced with traumatic stimulus. It displays little to no rationale. Rage can lead to awful, awful things, like murder and rape. It can also be triggered by awful, awful things…like murder and rape.
Remember the collective outrage we felt against Larry Nassar, the man convicted of molesting hundreds of gymnasts? One of the gymnasts fathers even tried to attack Nassar in the courtroom. His rage was primal, and justified. Neeson’s rage was also primal and justified … but his thoughts and subsequent behaviors were not justified. And he has admitted such, which is more than most people would ever dare to confess.
Today our collective outrage isn’t aimed toward his friend’s rapist. We’ve casually glossed over the brutal rape, in favor of the race narrative we prefer to focus on. And to be clear, Neeson never laid a finger on anyone. He had horrible thoughts, but never acted them out.
At the end of the Good Morning America interview, Roberts asked Neeson about what his “teachable moment” was. There was zero discussion about the heinous brutality of rape. ZERO. That’s a huge problem. She seemed more offended by his thoughts than by the actual rape of his friend.
This harkens back to only a week ago, when the governor of Virginia discussed approvingly of what essentially amounts to legal infanticide on a radio show. But the true outrage came a few days later, over a 30-year-old racist yearbook photo. Never mind about killing babies. He should resign over an old photo. Decades-old thoughts and non-criminal deeds are worse than actual lived-out crimes.
As Neeson’s interview came to a close, he turned the question of a “teachable moment” back on Roberts, wanting to hear her thoughts. She told him the lesson was that Neeson must acknowledge the hurt he’s caused black people, which he agreed with.
However, her entire approach to the situation is based on the assumption that the underlying cause of his behavior was racism, ignoring the intense psychological impact rape can have on the friends and family of victims. Secondary victims of rape, meaning a friend or family member of the victim, can often show signs of PTSD.
Studies have shown that counselors of sexual abuse victims are more likely to show signs of secondary traumatization if they had personal trauma in their history. Although not a counselor, it is possible that Neeson experienced a similar psychological trauma, amplified by his past, a past that he described a bit to both Roberts and The Independent: “I grew up in Northern Ireland 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.”
Maybe we need to be having an honest conversation about rape being a monstrous evil, capable of causing the darkest parts of our being to erupt to the surface. Maybe we could show some compassion for the rape victim. Maybe we could understand that none of this would’ve happened if a man hadn’t raped a woman.
Neeson nails it at the end of his Good Morning America interview, saying what we should all be saying right now: “Violence breeds violence.”
Not a week goes by when Jessica Yaniv isn’t in the news for committing a crime or doing something so morally abhorrent it might as well be criminal to do so.
Yaniv’s deplorability is depthless. Yet despite the wall-to-wall coverage of Yaniv’s activities both online and in the real world, the self-described “trans rights activist” has managed to elude any serious repercussions from the law.
Writing for Human Events, I previously described Yaniv’s attempts to manipulate the law as state-enforced sexual assault. I stand by it. Yaniv, who is male-to-female transgender, attempted to subvert law enforcement to do her bidding by taking them to the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and essentially trying them for anti-trans bigotry when they refused to provide their genitalia-waxing services, male-bodied transgender persons.
Despite eventually losing the case, the legal ramifications to Yaniv were minimal and Yaniv has only gotten worse since then—and the lack of any severe repercussions has only emboldened her misbehaviour.
Not only has Yaniv tried to subvert the law to force women to wax her male genitalia—she’s now using the law to try and silence her detractors. She made false allegations of sexual assault on The Post Millennial’s Amy Eileen Hamm, who has brought a civil suit against Yaniv.
She also assaulted Canadian journalist Keean Bexte. One might hope that the time she spends roaming about in a motorized scooter will soon come to an end as she was finally arrested over the assault. The footage of the attack was caught on camera, which should be an open and shut case for any prosecutor in the B.C. courts.
That isn’t the only felony charge Yaniv faces, either—having previously been charged for possessing illegal weapons, which she proudly flaunted (and arguably used to threaten) YouTuber Blaire White during a live-streamed interview late last year.
Yaniv has proven herself dangerous to young people. The Post Millennial has profiled in detail allegations by a young woman who alleges that years prior to attaining notoriety over the “wax my balls” scandal, Yaniv—then going by the name Jonathan—had attempted to sexually exploit her when she was underage.
Observers, including myself, remain skeptical that Yaniv will see any actual jail time. Her actions would have landed anyone else behind bars long before now.
Why is it that Yaniv can escape the long arm of the law? A public menace, Yaniv enjoys unspoken protections from the law—not merely as someone who identifies as transgender but as a transgender activist, who makes every action taken against her an action that weighs against the trans rights movement as a whole.
Indeed, the LGBT-friendly media—at least in the form of the internationally read PinkNews came to the apparent defence of the accused child sex predator and public menace. As Celine Ryan detailed for The Post Millennial, the progressive publication chose instead to smear Blaire White, who has been outspoken in her criticism of Yaniv.
Unlike Yaniv, White is openly conservative and doesn’t regard herself as any sort of “trans activist.” In other words, White isn’t the right kind of trans. Yaniv, a colossal fruitcake and aggressively woke social justice activist is everything publications like PinkNews look to champion.
Labels, to some, matter more than substance—and therein lies the problem with those in law enforcement who care more about optics than they do about meting out justice. Just as no plan survives contact with the enemy, no politician, judge, or police officer who acts against Jessica Yaniv is going to emerge unscathed due to the protection she is afforded by the privilege of the labels she wears.
There’s nothing just about social justice.
The New York Times endorsement of both Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar for president has been lauded and critiqued, but no take is quite as inane and Lauren Duca’s. Writing for The Independent, Duca takes an essential tack linking womanhood with virtuosity, love, nurturing, and maternal values. These are what Duca believes we need in the highest office, and apparently qualities which are the purview of women at large.
Duca believes that women will bring “unconditional love” to the conference table. She thinks women have less greed and avarice, and that while “the divine feminine is beyond that binary, best understood as the force of nurturing,” gender is a social construct.
It’s surprising that both of these views can exist concurrently within one cohesive ethos. Gender isn’t real, apparently, because it’s made up by society to sell us prescribed notions for what men and women are, but femininity brings with it a form of divinity that is localized within women and those who believe they are women, even though womanhood isn’t really anything specific. Are we all clear? No?
Duca opines: “America, as it stands, is not even pretending to be a free country. We are living in an oligarchy structured by the hierarchy of the white, supremacist patriarchy, and this is where toxic masculinity has led us.”
How can a person of such privilege, who gets to write for fancy platforms, teach adjunct classes, and traipse around the world on tour for a book that doesn’t even sell any copies, claim that America is not a free country? How can a person who has benefited so greatly precisely because of her status as an identitarian grievance monger make the assertion that we live in a white supramacist oligarchy? Isn’t this all getting a little old?
Under the guise of elevating women, Duca puts them right back in their place. Probably she thinks she’s lifting women up by saying that they can achieve world peace and stop World War 3 before it’s begun in a way that men, with their penchant toward toxicity, haven’t been able to do. If men aren’t better suited to office on the basis of their sex, then neither are women. Sex isn’t a characteristic upon which votes should be based.
If a woman were elected on the basis of her sex, and she didn’t magically fix all the social ills with one SCOTUS nom and a few passes of her magical bill signing pen under the light of the full moon in the Rose Garden, how could the US ever justify electing another? Women are fallible, not magical. Y’know, just like other people.
Women are people, with aspirations, faults, wishes, wills, and a drive to succeed. To count them as anything other does their humanity a disservice. Duca writes: “I think it makes a difference if the person at the helm of this transformation is a woman, because of the lessons learned by anyone who has a female perspective on our crisis of toxic masculinity.”
But that doesn’t actually mean anything.
Duca, of course, has been a longtime culture warrior on the woke side—a true believer who has offered up hot take after hot take espousing the most incoherent of woke talking points like “Sean Spicer’s Emmys Cameo Wasn’t a Joke—It’s Dangerous,” or “Donald Trump Is Gaslighting America.”
Duca then had her own turn in the barrel, when her entire NYU class revolted because she was not woke enough. Apparently she hasn’t learned the lessons that you can never be woke enough, and that the woke will devour themselves in the end.
The word “woke” has been bandied around in progressive circles since the early 2010s. Ironically, “woke” has become a pejorative term used to denigrate those who signal their virtue without doing much to advance any progressive cause. Woke individuals are, as the rule (that I just invented) goes, more concerned with making themselves look good and using their platform (or building a platform) to abuse others under the guise of combating social injustice.
None of this has, of course, gone unnoticed by the woke progressives who use the term without any sense of irony whatsoever. In an op-ed for the Guardian, writer Steve Rose opines that the word “woke” has been “weaponized by the right.” But whose fault is that, exactly? It’s certainly not the fault of those tired of being moralized and lectured to that they might repurpose the term to mock those who engage in cancel campaigns against any celebrity or public figure guilty of perceived unwokeness.
Citing the Merriam-Webster, Rose says that the term “woke” refers to anyone “aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice).” And much like the term “political correctness,” the term has come to mean the opposite of what it means—or so he claims.
But is that truly the case? Those who elevate themselves through wokeness have little interest in combating social injustices and simply use it as a shield for their own bigotry, and to shut down dissenting opinions. Their wokeness, if it exists at all, is performative.
This isn’t to say that one can simply go about spouting racist, anti-Semitic, or otherwise bigoted remarks without pushback from any decent and reasonable person. Decent and reasonable people don’t care about being “woke.” “Woke” individuals, as it were, cultivate their entire personalities around the fight for social justice without much to show for it besides preening at everyone else on Twitter.
Wokeness has become a social status symbol more than anything else, and the “Right,” or the “unwoke,” or whatever you want to call us continue to be reasonable people while rubbing our lack of wokeness in the face of those who rally around the hollow symbol.
Case in point: Guardian writer, Steve Rose, attacks actor Laurence Fox for—you guessed it, unwokeness. He writes:
“Laurence Fox nailed his colours to the latter mast this weekend, doubling down on his defence of the privileged white male on last week’s Question Time to a Sunday Times article under the banner ‘Why I won’t date ‘woke’ women’. Toby Young piled in, applauding how Fox was ‘terrorising the Wokerati’, while the Sun last weekend branded Harry and Meghan ‘the oppressive King and Queen of Woke’.”
Rose argues that rather than simply rejecting the concept of wokeness, detractors of the term, like Fox, only criticize wokeness as “way of claiming victim status for yourself rather than acknowledging that more deserving others hold that status. It has gone from a virtue signal to dog whistle.”
On the contrary, any individual who makes claims to wokeness isn’t so much of a victim as they are a participant in the race for social status. Being unwoke doesn’t give you an entry pass into a separate league of oppression.
Laurence Fox has been outspoken in his lack of wokeness, simply speaking his mind and saying it like it is with no regard for how supposedly offensive it is to not be mindful to those who hold wokeness up as a virtue in and of itself. He isn’t claiming to be a victim—like any decent and reasonable person, he’s rejecting victimhood entirely. And it’s working.
We live in a politically correct, “woke” time and it doesn’t seem like anyone will let us forget it—not even for a split second, not even for just enough time for us to enjoy our morning cup of coffee.
Douwe Egberts Belgium is a coffee company who just joined the Team Woke.
More and more, companies don’t try to sell us their brand, quality or even their product, but instead they sell us on their “wokeness.”
A recent ad for the coffee shows two young teenagers, one clearly a girl and the other in a hoodie so you can’t discern their gender, kissing on the couch who then get interrupted by the girl’s dad. They run upstairs but the daughter stops to give her father a dirty look.
An obvious, “I hate you. You’ve ruined my life,” teenage-girl look.
Then the dad makes coffee and the two teenagers come down to share a cup. The hooded teen is revealed to be a girl. They all sit around smiling and laughing—with tones of acceptance and growth, which is exactly what you want from your coffee.
The ad ends with the father putting his daughter’s glasses back on her face and smiling. The glasses that the girlfriend took off her earlier while making out on the couch.
Yes, a very wholesome moment, and don’t get me wrong, I’m glad this hypothetical dad accepts his hypothetical daughter. That’s the way it should be.
Belgium was even ranked the second-best country in Europe to live for LGBT people, according to Rainbow Europe poll. Belgians already seem to be plenty accepting.
This ad has already been seen over 12 million times on Twitter and has some users in tears.
The 2019 Brussels Pride Parade had around 100,000 marchers. It’s clear Belgians—and most sane people—aren’t homophobic today, so why are these types of commercials pretending we are?
The ad also reminds me of a recent Sprite ad that you needed to watch twice before noticing the Spite logo. The ad showed LGBT members getting ready for the Pride Parade and their family members smiling and accepting them.
Because again, that’s what you need from your drink choice.
Movies, television and branding have become a competition of who is more woke rather than convincing us to consume their products. Everything out there has to have a political message or statement.
The quality of the product doesn’t matter anymore as long as you’re scoring points with the woke crowd.
Pandering to a rather small portion of the population may not seem like the most business-savvy but they may also overlap with another crowd. The cancel culture crowd.
So even though, Dali Research finds that only about 6 percent of people identify as LGBT in all of Europe, companies choose to target a rather small demographic.
Why go after such a small group? Possibly the fear of the backlash of the outrage culture.
It’s possible companies and business think their public relations will go more smoothly if they go with the trends—even if that means ignoring the larger population.
They’re taking the easy way through—pandering and bending the knee for a small but very loud and demanding group. Woke people are hard to please. You can never be woke enough.
For regular people who don’t discriminate based on sexual orientation, it gets tiring for them to be constantly lectured about something they already agree with.
You see, us unwoke people, who want our ads to be about the products and our commercials to be selling us something without a moral lesson or a guilt trip attached—we see right through the cynical pandering.