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  • Karen Edmond

Was Tyson Wrong for Defending Himself? Local Black Community Share Their Opinion!

Updated: May 26, 2022

When one thinks of Black celebrities, specific individuals come to mind immediately. Names such as Chris Rock, Will Smith, Dave Chapelle, and Iron Mike Tyson, to name a few. To much of Black America's surprise, each of the individuals mentioned above was publicly attacked in one way or another.

Case and point:

  • March 27, 2022, during the 94th Academy Awards presentation, comedian Chris Rock was smacked publicly on stage in front of thousands of viewers by comedian/actor/producer Will Smith for saying a mediocre joke regarding Mr. Smith's 2nd wife, Jada Pickett-Smith. With whom Rock refused to smack back on stage because of his respect towards the Smiths. (On a side note: Most Black folks know that comedian Chris Rock could have made a hilarious, tummy aching, fall on the ground joke about the subject matter that offended the Smiths publicly. As well as threw fists. But he didn't.)


  • On April 20, 2022, Mike Tyson was repeatedly harassed by a pencil-necked individual with boundary issues plus a lengthy criminal history named Melvin Townsend while traveling on Jet Blue Airlines returning from a conference in Florida. Mike Tyson "holds the record as the youngest boxer ever to win the heavyweight title and was the first heavyweight boxer to hold the W.B.A., I.B.F concurrently, and W.B.C. titles, in conjunction with being the only heavyweight to do such a feat. Making Tyson one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time. Tyson now 55 yrs old jacked up his tormentor Townsend after said individual refused to stop verbally harassing him and possibly spitting on Tyson when Tyson quietly and simply was minding his own business while preparing to travel home. No airline security agent, flight attendant, or steward intervened in Tyson's defense despite the longevity of repeated verbal harassment plus outright boundary issues that Townsend exhibited repeatedly on plane.

On May 3, 2022, Dave Chapelle, while performing at the Los Angeles' Hollywood Bowl Arena Tuesday night, was tackled by a punk-rock-looking individual, named Isaiah Lee. The assailant 23 yr old Lee, wore what looked to be a ponytail made out of hair extensions. Plus wore black nail polish attacked Chapelle with a "replica handgun slash knife" on his person. Chapelle's security men quickly took down the assailant once Chapelle managed to kick said individual up off of him. Lee was immediately placed in prison with a $30,000 bond.


Per these three examples, each celebrity dealt with each assault slightly differently.

  1. Per Chris Rock and Will Smith's incident, Rock conceded and did not strike back at Smith out of respect because Smith is a fellow Black brother, one would think. So Rock utilized discipline by not allowing mainstream America to witness two distinguished Black-men fighting each other publicly. On the flip side, Smith became hurt publicly when Rock made an inference concerning his beautiful wife's hair loss condition.

  2. Per the Mike Tyson incident, Mr. Tyson addressed his harasser directly. Furthermore, the mainstream media initially made said incident sound like Iron Mike purposely defended himself without incident. Even though said criminal Townsend initiated the incident because of his racist behavior and boundary issues.

  3. Per Dave Chapelle - Chapelle quickly managed to get his assailant off of him just in time for his security team to beat the living daylights out of the assailant, namely Isaiah Lee, while calming down the audience and cracking jokes with Chris Rock. Who came immediately on stage with Chapelle because Rock respects Chapelle and could immediately identify with what he was going through at the moment.

One more thing that needs to be mentioned, each Black celebrity who experienced a direct attack has been super compliant with what mainstream America deems important. Black celebrities make sure not to strictly address or strategize as a team on Black crisis issues. They are position to help everybody. Furthermore, that leaves their people in a very vulnerable situation.

Long-term crisis issues such as homelessness, which devastates hundreds of thousands of Black families yearly, are not addressed explicitly for example. It is not that they do not care. It is just that they could put themselves in a very vulnerable situation of being blocked from earning a living even though systematize racism hopes to directly target Black children to experience a hell of a life on purpose. Thanks to studies published on the topic per The Children Defense Fund titled "The Cradle to Prison Pipeline." For the last 50 years, systematized racism's strategy has been to


  1. Pour drugs into Black communities utilizing economic disenfranchisement efforts in the long-term. Gang propaganda, aka brainwashing (that is not organic to Black culture), in hope of influencing young developing minds.

  2. Guns are poured into Black communities to assist with the early demise of Black populations' children.

  3. Non-adult supervision ensures that children are left to their own devices to navigate sophisticated systems that lead many into dangerous situations independently.

  4. Explicit sexualisation media or suggestive communication that most adults can identify as devious but young minds have no idea what they are allowing themselves to get involved with. And the cause and effect of systematic racism lists goes on and on, generationally if not intervened directly.

Systematic racism goal is to negatively effect predominately Black communities in hopes of leading said target population of children to either have a chain around their ankles as a young adult, early demise or both. (C.D.F. Cradle to Prison Pipeline.)

Per an article written on March 18, 2021, by authors: Chrishana M. Lloyd, Sara Shaw, Marta Alvira-Hammond, Ashley M. Hazelwood, and Alex DeMand titled "Racism and Discrimination Contribute to Housing Instability for Black Families During the Pandemic," on Child Trends, an institution that researches crisis issues concerning children, shares, finding on, "a series examining timely topics that are relevant to Black families and children in the United States. It uses national, state, and local data to examine housing access and other available supports for Black families, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic."

For instance, researchers found that "Affordable, high-quality, and stable housing is fundamental for supporting families' health and well-being." The research "presents recent data on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Black families' access to stable housing in the United States and, at the local level, in Newark, New Jersey. Newark, a predominantly Black city, has a history of fighting racist policies and practices and was at the forefront of the 1960s' protests for civil rights in America. It is also one of the poorest cities in the nation, where residents have lacked access to affordable housing for decades. Newark currently has progressive housing policies aimed at promoting residential stability. Newark was one of the first cities in the nation to enact a right to counsel law, guaranteeing legal counsel for residents facing eviction. Despite this effort, the supply of affordable housing is still extremely limited, and while the current mayor of Newark is working to address this situation, Newark residents—particularly those who have lower incomes—continue to face persistent challenges in finding affordable; high-quality, stable housing."

With that being said. If our influential celebrities were allowed to team up with the N.A.A.C.P. and investigate plus use their influence to address this long-term crisis issue solely, a crisis issue by the way that spars off into other dysfunctions such as

  • Child abuse,

  • Mental illness &

  • Drug addiction

Said systematic deterrents would have been abolished years ago. (But I digress.)

Nevertheless, out of the above Black celebrities I mentioned, the one that mainstream media demonized the most was Iron Mike Tyson (with his fine self uh hum.. uh uh) because he stood up and fought back and refused to apologize for fighting back. With that being said, the Echo took an opinion poll from local Black folks from Monmouth County to get a sense of how they felt about the Mike Tyson incident. Each person had a unique response.

Mr. Joe Huff's response:

Regarding Tyson, "You never know what someone is going through, so it would be best to leave people alone; and also, my mom said you do not put your hands on nobody if they do not touch you🫣. I should have listened." (KBE giggle)


Mr. Micheal Wheeler's response:

"Mike was right!"


Miss. Gwynn Holloway's response:

"I feel like sometimes people "poke the bear," so to speak. Mike Tyson has done quite a bit of work to mature, and he seemed to try to tolerate it. But celebrities or not, people are entitled to privacy. I wonder, too, was it designed to get a case...so much to unpack in the whole thing."


Mr. Gregg Anderson's response:

"That man got what he deserved; messing with Tyson is not on many bucket lists."


Mrs. Tre Thomas's response:

"From how I understood it, Mike was friendly with the guy at first and even let him take a selfie. However, Mike was trying to chill afterward, and the guy kept bugging him, basically gas lighting Mike. I think he intentionally provoked Mike so he could get a lawsuit against him. Greed."

Gwynn Holloway to Tre Thomas, "Yes, I was thinking that too."

Lastly, per a CNN Travel report that Marnie Hunter wrote, with Hanna Gordola, Cheri Mossburg, Stella Chan, and Pete Muntean, on April 22, 2022, titled "Mike Tyson appears to hit fellow airplane passenger." Shared, that in 2022, the F.A.A. has already received 1,233 unruly passenger reports."

(Yikes and were only five months into the New Year.)


In closing, I like to thank the participants in this poll for graciously sharing their opinions. May we as a people continue to pray for our people. Plus may God bless us all including our people who have aspired to great heights to learn how to unashamedly address and dismantle every systematic attack targeted at the Black family. Let us pray for the release of the owed reparations for North American Black citizenship, so that Black children, on a whole can be blessed with stability and peace of mind.

Thank you for your continued support in regards to the relaunched Echo.

Enjoy Portraits "Here We Go Again" and dance your blues away. Peace out KBritt-Edmond


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