Friday, October 12, 2012

Mike Tyson

My Truth column today supported the granting of a visa to Mike Tyson. I can't reproduce it yet due to my agreement with the publisher.

But I have had a couple of additional thoughts not expressed in the column.

A number of people have suggested that admitting Tyson into New Zealand is to down-play rape. On Radio Live Rodney Hide asked a caller supporting Tyson if he also condoned rape? He went on to muse about there being no degrees of rape.

More often than not I agree with Rodney but thought this line of questioning was unfortunate. Why? I think of it this way.

Should the same question be put to the women who marry convicted rapists and bear their children? In their act of forgiving and redeeming a convicted rapist, are they apologists for rape?  An ACT conference had one such guest poised to take the  stage some years back. His background mirrored the sort of upbringing Tyson had. His wife was in the audience. I remember her eyes when she turned and looked at audience members. They seemed to say, Give him a chance. Some attendees didn't want to hear from the man. I did. Others did. And Rodney did I believe.

Similarly, consider the bureaucratic argument about assessing the risk Tyson poses. How much risk does the woman who wants to rehabilitate a criminal take? It is her trust that makes him want to stop offending. She trusts him for a lifetime  - not a mere 20 hours.

I'm ashamed and embarrassed of  New Zealand's attitude to Tyson.


tracey said...

Does he admit his crime?
Does he have remorse?

Just Like Now said...

Quite agree.

Freedom of association. If people want to see him let it be that way. Not for us to have the State telling us who can and cannot meet and talk and socialise or be condoned.

*I* wouldn't want to be anywhere near the guy myself.

JC said...

The man told TV3 that his rape allegation was a set up, ie, he isn't a reformed rapist but a criminal who still doesn't accept he committed a crime.


Anonymous said...

Its been my experience that some very intelligent women I have known, have been attracted to some very bad men I have also known. No amount of warnings swayed the opinions of either side and the results were not always positive.

Sometimes people have to be left to exercise free will.


mistralman said...

They could bring Ali instead of the idiot Tyson.There is a man to be proud of.

Richard McGrath said...

I heard someone tell Leighton Smith on his radio show some of the vile comments Tyson has allegedly made to audiences overseas, e.g. that Sarah Palin should be raped by a black man, and so forcefully that her guts are pushed up into the back of her head. I don't think we really need Mike Tyson here. Bottom line, I suppose, is: do we let convicted felons into the country, even when they have served their sentence?

James said...

Of course there is the possibility that Tyson is in fact innocent of the charge....?

Lindsay Mitchell said...

Richard, You have arrived at the same place I am. A law that bars a convicted felon from entry to a country isn't necessarily a good law - esp if you believe in redemption. Thus, calling on 'no exemptions' to bar Tyson doesn't wash when its a bad law to begin with.