Research shows that babies of all races innately prefer the close proximity of other members of their own race, although the gradual acquisition of racial intolerance is typically environmental, such as from parents or extended caregivers. So one’s natural notation of others’ skin color is instinctive.
Thus, perhaps actor Liam Neeson (via his “primal urge to lash out”) not only had reason to be outraged at his brutally assaulted close friend’s rapist, but also had the additional motivation — however unjust on a human level — of the black-and-white racial divide (“Liam Neeson film premiere canceled amid uproar over comments,” Web, Feb. 5).
Add to the already volatile mix the fact that we males are also predisposed to the testosterone factor — i.e., mind-narrowing anger, which is typically exacerbated as we age due to cerebral physiology — and one finds Mr. Neeson, many years ago, “looking to be set upon so that I could unleash physical violence.”
Even if one, including myself, cannot reason himself away from such unpleasant reactive emotions, one at least can be aware of them and their unacceptability in a civilly humane society.
FRANK STERLE JR.
White Rock, British Columbia
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