An open letter to the Liam Neeson outrage mob:
Christian Picciolini is a writer and public speaker who turned his life around after being a violent white supremacist. He literally beat people to within inches of their lives, simply because their skin was darker than his. He now gets paid to talk about his past life and teach people just how terrible that ideology is, and how to stop it. He’s online right now. You can tweet at him and he’ll probably respond.
But what if after he turned his life around, it just so happened that writing wasn’t really his calling? What if he really sucked at it? What if he truly wanted to help others and keep kids from falling into the same traps, but as it turned out he was terrified of public speaking? Suppose he just wanted to open up a sandwich shop, but if the topic were to come up, he wouldn’t hesitate to relay his story in hopes that people could learn from it.
Or… suppose as it otherwise could have turned out, he was really great at acting. Let’s say he had amassed a hugely successful career as a movie actor. Make no mistake though, he doesn’t hide his past and he wants others to know the dangers and the impact of racist thinking.
Except now you wanna tell me that if someone like him even THOUGHT about engaging in racial violence 40 years ago rather than actually DOING it… even if he was relaying this message about himself as a sort of warning against hatred… follow me here… you’re telling me this person needs to be shamed and punished?
So one guy gets to keep going on speaking tours after bashing skulls in, and the other guy’s career gets ‘canceled’ because of what?… Because he confided in you that he once had racist THOUGHTS 40 years ago?
You may also enjoy reading: Stop pretending you’re outraged by what Liam Neeson said.
Go fuck yourself. It’s not about what he said or did, and you know it. You KNOW that people get to turn their lives around, learn from their mistakes, apologize and help others. That’s why we listen to people like Picciolini. It’s not about what Liam Neeson said or did 40 years ago. It’s about YOU.
It’s about you feeling better about yourself by taking down the big celebrity. Fuck you. I’m tired of listening to you. We see through you. It’s always been about you. We’re done listening.
This was a guest post, written by a friend of mine, Jeff Fountain. The views expressed here may not represent the views of A Science Enthusiast (but in this case, they do).