Mike Tyson to Poles: You guys didn’t have s**t happen to you

The famous US boxer was in Poland to promote his ‘Black energy’ drink.

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June 27, 2019 20:28
2 minute read.
Mike Tyson to Poles: You guys didn’t have s**t happen to you

Former boxer Mike Tyson reacts as he speaks to the media, before the weigh-in of International Boxing Federation (IBF) World Championship Bout at the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China, on the outskirts of Beijing, China, May 24, 2016. (photo credit: JASON LEE / REUTERS)

Controversial boxing icon Mike Tyson caused an uproar in Poland on Wednesday while promoting the Polish energy drink "Black Energy," when he told the audience, “You Polish guys didn’t have s**t happen to you compared to what happened to black people in America,” wPolityce.pl reported. 


  
It seems Tyson, who only months ago said the Polish Warsaw Uprising resistance fighters were his “real heroes,” was responding to voices in Poland who argued that as an African-American he should not be included in a film about Polish history. 
 
Tyson responded by saying “I ask, who knows more about uprisings than dark-skinned people?” 
 
From the Depths director Jonny Daniels, who became very active in Polish-Jewish relations in recent years, released a photograph of Tyson standing next to the monument for the Jewish Ghetto Uprising in Warsaw. 

Tyson also met with one of the survivors of the Polish Warsaw Uprising, 91-year-old Bolesław Wojewódzki. 
The world-famous boxer took to social media to say he has "a great deal of respect for how the Polish and Jewish communities have been able to overcome horrendous Nazi persecution," he further said he is "forever connected with people that have overcome struggles, oppression and adversity." 



Daniels told the Post that "Mike has a big heart and incredible sensitivity, his knowledge and understanding of history is something many wouldn't realize."

Noting that, thanks to Tyson's commitment to history, millions of people who follow him on social media become aware of such topics Daniels said that Tyson has talked on a variety of historical issues, from Jewish support of Martin Luther King to "his families experience of being sold into slavery."

Daniels said that "for a journalist to insinuate that an African American couldn't understand others suffering" led to these remarks. 

 

  
 
Daniels told the Post Tyson had been rudely asked about his ability to discuss Polish history and his statement should be seen in this context. 

There were two separate uprisings against the German army in Nazi-occupied Poland, the Jewish Warsaw Ghetto uprising of 1943 and the Polish resistance uprising of 1944 by the Home Army.

While both uprisings were crushed by the Nazis, they had different goals as the fighting was done to preserve Jewish dignity despite the knowledge of assured defeat.

The Polish uprising was an attempt at self-liberation before the Red Army reached Warsaw.  
 
African and African-American resistance to slavery and colonial rule includes the 1791 Haiti War of Independence from French rule and the 1894-1896 Italo-Ethiopian War which ended with the defeat of the Italian forces in their attempt to colonize Ethiopia. 
 
In his 2015 book Napoleon the Great, Andrew Roberts describes how the first usage of gas chambers by a state to destroy humans was when the French army installed them on ships outside Haiti to murder black fighters whom they saw as dangerous. 


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