Many people, mainly white people, have sympathized with his story about his friend being raped, which prompted him to take his cosh and go looking for random black people to provoke him into killing them. He seemed to be very concerned with the race of the criminals who raped his friend (if you believe that he even had a friend that was actually raped) and then went out hunting black people and waiting for them to get out of line so he could kill them.
Though there is no way you can clean up this story, one thing Neeson's defenders seem passionate about is that he is a good guy because he didn't have to tell his story. The larger question would remain... why would he tell his story? To make a point of how stupid racism is? To start a conversation about racist bigots? It doesn't add up.
If Neeson's intent was to prove how bad racism was, then wouldn't he at least admit to being racist at a point in his life and apologize for that? Instead, Neeson denies being racist at all. If he wasn't racist at all and truly believed that, then his racist story about a racist incident would not have merit in a conversation about racism. But if he believes he was in fact making racist decisions about killing someone based on the color of their skin, then this would get the conversation started. But Neeson denies he was and or is a bigot. So one would have to question what conversation was he trying to start that involved him hunting, specifically, black men?
Then there is the question of why Neeson chose to have this conversation at all while he was promoting a movie that had nothing to do with racism? The comment about wanting to "kill that black bastard" was totally uncalled for and if he was genuine in wanting to start a conversation about racism, then why not have a forum designated for that conversation specifically.
What Neeson was actually doing was appealing to racist people who actually harbor these same sentiments as him and capitalizing off of them.
Neeson claims that his feeling was "primal" which suggests that he believes his racist tendencies are normal and something that we all harbor. He couldn't be further from the truth. Most humans don't go around looking to kill members of another race to avenge the wrongdoings of our loved ones. Most rational people go out looking for the people who actually committed the crime.
Then there is the fact that when he went looking for black people to kill, he didn't go looking hard enough which represents cowardice. Instead, he went to a pub where he was unlikely to find any black people and carry out his dark fantasy of killing them (or being killed by them).
All Neeson proved is that he holds racist views and that may have very well been his intention for bringing up this story. To actually prove to white supremacists, "Hey, I'm one of you guys."
Though he has apologized and claims not to be racist, we do know that he did want to find a black man and hope that something happened that would give him an excuse to kill them. Maybe Neeson should actually be an American cop? He sure seems to think like them.