Liam Neeson, yesterday, gave an interview to the British newspaper, The Independent. He gives a testimony, affirming his humanity, in all of its ugly glory and his reward? To be called a racist and to be asked to consider the feelings of ‘an innocent black man knowing that he could have been killed’. Like Kevin Hart before him, Neeson is being asked to consider the feelings of those he may have hurt who, heretofore, had no knowledge of, interest in or concern for his actions. I am not a fan of cheap or political apologies. I don’t believe that people should apologize for hypothetical pain; pain is very real, visceral and tangible. You can objectively count its victims. It is not amorphous and vague, lacking real effects or clear connections. Holding strangers guilty for the possible distress they might have caused makes as much sense as demanding redress for the punch that could have hit you in the face. We live in a time where victimization is a fast track to a public platform, so we shouldn’t be surprise that it’s becomes more attractive to be in the cross hairs.
I was watching the Bruce Jenner interview with family last week. My cousin was a bit unsettled by the concept that someone could be born into the wrong body. To him, it implies that God had made a mistake and that didn’t sit well with him. I gave his comment great thought, but my initial instinct was to rebut it, but I didn’t know how; it’s pretty sound logic after all. How does God, who is infallible, give a man’s body a woman’s soul? While I understood what my cousin was saying, I still felt great empathy for Jenner who was working on becoming his authentic self (something many of us should strive to do) and who was doing something tremendous by publicly telling his story. So which is it: God screwed up or we’re just screwed up? Or maybe it’s neither. Maybe this is the result of a perfect creator and his imperfect creatures. We have never been perfect, in form or function; If we we’re, we wouldn’t have the afflictions, diseases or physical ailments that we do. We accept physical and mental issues as a part of life and not evidence of God making mistakes, so perhaps someone being born into the wrong body is just further evidence of the imperfect creation process rather than an imperfect God.