Charles Ramsey is a hero without qualification. He saw someone in peril and acted, kicking in his neighbor’s door to help a woman and a child who were strangers to him. This assertive and proactive conduct led to the rescue of three young women missing for a decade. Yet because Ramsey is unrepentantly expressive in the manner of his community and peer group, and is not the typical white, middle class American who tends to dominate the internet, videos of his account of the event, replete with colorful slang and vernacular and his own expressive flourishes, have become objects of mockery and ridicule on the web, with a nasty racist edge. He is now a viral meme, especially his signature quote about knowing something is wrong when “a little pretty white girl” runs into “a black man’s arms.”
Wrong. I love Ramsey, and love his open, clear, emotional, story-teller’s manner. He is articulate in the true spirit of the word—interesting, vivid, clear and genuine. John Kerry should communicate so well. Mitch McConnell should hire him as a coach. If Al Sharpton could convey such sincerity, we’d all be in trouble.
If, a month or so from now, Chris Rock or Eddie Murphy want to do a Charles Ramsey impression in the spirit of fun, fine: I’m sure Ramsey will laugh along. Right now, however, we owe this good and decent man respect and dignity, not cheap shots. He’s a role model in all the ways that count, and those who are making fun of hims now merely demonstrate their warped priorities and lack of values. Nobody mocked the heroes who emerged from the Boston Marathon bombing, and anyone who did would have become an instant pariah. Charles Ramsey deserves no less consideration.
Show him the respect he deserves, and let those who do otherwise know that they are behaving like jerks.
Pointer: Alexander Cheezem
Sources: Slate, Christian Science Monitor, Atlantic
26 thoughts on “Charles Ramsey Is A Hero. Show Some Damn Respect.”
Jack, I totally agree. This fellow did a great deed. He should be congratulated because he acted to help someone in need. Say what you will, but that took a lot of courage – he got involved in a situation that freed four people. As our Aussie friends would say, “Good on ya, mate!”
He also was courageous enough to expose himself to the meatgrinder of news celebrity…and is paying the price.
Luv this guy, and God be with him. Had it been the “normal” not my business that so many people exhibit today those girls would still be there. I am quite sure the “little white girl” will forever love him, as will the other girls. Words can not express what he did, without reservation, without fear, only the thought that a person was in distress and he had to act. He was the firefighter that runs into a burning house. He was and is the person I hope will be there if ever I am in distress. God Bless this true, and amazing man.
I certainly hope this guy gets to have a beer at the White House even though he’s not on the faculty at Harvard.
Is this likely to have a chilling effect on possible acts of heroism in the future? Might a would-be rescuer hesitate, thinking he doesn’t present well, in public? I’m not offering an opinion about that, just wondering aloud.
Hah! My favorite phrase from being on a hiring committee with a Junior Leaguer: “present well.” Perfect. I think it goes without saying that we should always be concerned first and foremost with whether others “present well.” Certainly John Edwards presents well. Hah! I wish we had some more legislators that legislated well rather than presenting well.
We are entering the age of “personal brands”, in which just about anyone who doesn’t “present well” (but is self-aware about it) is increasingly afraid to enter any public forum whatsoever. So that’s a legit question you ask…
Well said, Jack!
I didn’t know that Mr. Ramsey was getting flack from others for what he did. I was watching his comments on Fox News yesterday evening and, despite the seriousness of the event, had to laugh (with honest admiration) at his description of what happened. The universal admiration of his neighbors (of all races) was evident, as was that of the Fox people. Ramsey might be just a “regular guy”, but he acted with the morality, foresight and courage that I could only hope that I or my own neighbors would have under similar circumstances. God bless him.
Any criticism needs to be levelled at those three sibling sexmasters who kidnapped those three young women (and when they were children!) and did what they did. The big question here needs to be as to why children can be kidnapped right off the streets in broad daylight and successfully be held captive for years in a house in virtually the same neighborhood. When we look at this- and likewise think of the equally pathetic case of Jaycee Dugard- one has to wonder as to how many other missing children are being held under similar circumstances; sorrowfully awaiting the rescue that never seems to come.
Even more disheartening, the first time I read the story online, many of the comments were questioning whether these girls were really kidnapped, they must have wanted to stay or else they would have escaped, etc. I felt sick and stopped reading about this story — so I didn’t even know that the hero neighbor was being critiqued as well.
… I hadn’t seen those. *Ugh*.
Rape apologists. They’re like fucking cockroaches.
And while I normally refrain from vulgarity, especially in forums like this one, I think it’s entirely justified here.
Are you surprised though, Alexander? I doubt it. I’m certainly not.
I actually saw Ashley Banfield make that ignorant remark, “maybe they are there willingly”.
Nancy Grace shut her up PDQ.
I also saw, Mr. Ramsey, in an interview with Anderson Cooper, saying he wants the reward money to go not to himself, but to the victims.
I am not surprised Mr. Ramsey is being mocked on the net.
That behavior is quite common in the raised by wolves generation.
Charles Ramsey didn’t just save those women and subject himself to the meatgrinder of publicity, he took a huge personal risk as well. He was probably well aware that he was putting himself in the middle of what might be a bad domestic dispute. For all he knew, there was a man coming in the back door right that instant that might beat him up and kill him for what he was about to do. For al he knew, after those women got to a police station and had a few hours to think it over, they might have turned on him and blamed him for their injuries and claimed all kinds of foul deeds by him in order to protect their abuser. For all he knew, this could be a human trafficking house run by organized crime and he could be painting a target on his back for going in that house. He didn’t let that stop him, though. He did the right thing anyway.
He is more of a hero than the people who helped in the Boston Bombing case. You had a crowd of obviously injured people, police and ambulances would be on the way soon. Yes, more bombs could be ready to go off, but you had a good idea what the situation was, you just had to help people until the professionals arrived, and you knew your actions would be viewed positively by all. Charles Ramsey had to wonder if he was signing his death warrant or if he was going to get arrested and do jail time for his good deed.
I’m ashamed to say that I don’t stop to help people by the side of the road anymore. I used to, and nothing bad ever happened to me, but now I just look to see if they have a cell phone and call it in if they don’t. If they need pushed out of the intersection, I help, but otherwise, I let the authorities handle it. Too many crazy people and too many scams. It’s terrible, but it’s true.
If you used to help and nothing bad ever happened to you, on what are you basing your belief that there are currently “too many crazy people and too many scams”? Are you under the impression that the percentage of crazy people has gone up since last you offered help to someone at the side of the road? Is there a chance that your perspective has just been skewed by exposure to more negative reporting than was available at the time?
I stopped a few weeks ago to help someone who had collapsed on the side of the road, along with a number of other people. As it turned out, he was dead drunk… and it wasn’t even dark yet! Jerk!!
Well, I am now married and have children, so if I get myself killed or put in prison now, it has farther reaching consequences and that’s one reason. The other is local news reports of people being killed while stopping to help people (one year there were about 6 in a few month period). There also were people who were being robbed by the people posing as ‘breakdowns’ and I know a few people whose relatives attacked the people who stopped to help them (and got one of the Good Samaritans convicted of a crime). I usually stop a couple times a year to help people push disabled cars out of the intersection. My Jeep can just push them out of the way without damage (OK, if they were nice cars, it might leave a scratch, but it isn’t detectable on the cars in question) which is a lot faster and safer than 4 people trying to push a vehicle through a busy intersection.
He has an arrest record, and I just saw a post on FB saying ‘Read about his past before you go crazy over this guy’.
Sigh…it doesn’t make what he did any less great.
He had me in stitches…I’d have him over for ribs any day 😀 He’s a funny guy!
I heard Anderson Cooper interviewing a lady who interpreted for another neighbor, Angel Cordero who speaks Spanish and he says he is the one to kick in the door. Charles came up later. Both stories sound credible. When there is breaking news, the dust has not yet settled. Someone was a hero that is for sure.
I personally think his energy and excitement and non-self-consiousness were quite infectious and ought to be embraced by anyone.
I heard a radio host yesterday who said that his program would no longer refer to Mr. Ramsey as a hero because they had discovered his history of arrests for spousal/girlfriend abuse. I found that to be a disgusting opinion. There is no reason a person can’t be a cad in one part of his life and a hero in another part of his life. If the standard is absolute consistency then no one can be a hero (and no one can be a cad).
Nobody is celebrating the man’s life, just his exemplary conduct in this one instance. There are those who redeem a less than admirable life with one shining act (the Sidney Charton scenario) as well as those who deserve condemnation as human beings for one horrible act or set of acts, no matter how impressive their life’s deeds and accomplishments. ( Cardinal Law, Benedict Arnold, Richard Nixon). But a person who acts heroically in one instance always deserves credit for that, even if he is Jack the Ripper.
As usual, you made my point better than I did.
“He has an arrest record, and I just saw a post on FB saying ‘Read about his past before you go crazy over this guy’”.
Huh, imagine that.
Hillary Clinton is responsible for the death of four Americans and yet some “people” are referring to her as Madame President. @@