At least, one of the organisers of Mike Tyson’s latest money-making event is claiming that he’s a “wrongly convicted rapist” in a phone conversation with a local resident Kim Graham who is concerned about the hero-worshipping of a convicted rapist. Tyson, you know, the convicted rapist, is now a “motivational speaker” and has been invited to speak at a dinner event in Gorleston, Norfolk. Quite why anyone would pay to hear a convicted rapist claim not to be a rapist is beyond me. Mostly, Tyson makes me equally nauseous and angry. He continues to minimise his violent behaviour and his conviction for rape [not to mention those pesky domestic violence rumours he likes to pretend aren’t true]. Yet, people still pay to hear him deny his violence. He’s even got Spike Lee to direct him in a one-man play. And, people claim we don’t live in a society that hates women.
Carl Moore, who is sponsoring the event with EBF Boxing [I’ve never heard of either of them but have duly noted their names under the heading of arsehole misogynists] is the man responsible for this “wrongly-convicted” malarkey. Other venues have canceled Tyson’s “motivational speeches” after a public outcry. We need to make it clear that convicted rapists aren’t heroes. Men who violently rape 18 year olds aren’t misunderstood or deserving of sympathy. They deserve our condemnation.
Tyson is due to speak at the Ocean Rooms in Gorleston on October 12th. There is a petition available here. This is the text of the petition:
Mike Tyson is a convicted rapist who served three years of a six year sentence for raping an 18 year old woman. He has been completely unrepentant.
We see fewer than 6% of rapists convicted of their crimes, and even in the result of a conviction, survivors and victims struggle to be believed. By providing an event that celebrates a convicted rapist, we send the message out that rapists are role models; a harmful message for both survivors and for young people.
The idea of giving a convicted rapist a “hero’s welcome” is both deeply offensive and damaging.
Phone: 01493 667890
I had the “pleasure” of speaking to Carl Moore, the organiser of the event earlier this evening. When I asked Moore why he felt having a convicted rapist was a suitable speaker at an event, he tried to tell me that Tyson (who pleaded guilty at his trial) was wrongly convicted, that Tyson had been told he’d walk free were he to plead guilty.
We already see a situation where most rapists walk free, through being found “not guilty” due to a failing legal system. Sadly, in the rare situations where rapists are convicted of their crimes, where they even plead guilty, we’re still faced with a situation where the survivor of the crime isn’t believed.
Words, such as Moore’s, are an insult to rape survivors, and a mockery of those who finally see a conviction. This event cannot continue.