The life span of a media shooting star is roughly akin to that of a common house fly. There’s a surge of attention with cameras and microphones. Did a crime occur? Is there an angle or hook that makes the crime unique and unusual?
What happened? Who’s involved? Do we have a victim, a villain and a hero? The folks at home love news stories where it’s easy to separate the good guys from the bad. The case of the kidnapped, raped and imprisoned women in Cleveland for over a decade by Ariel Castro met all the requirements of Must See television programming
To call Charles Ramsey…colorful is to be woefully understated. Here we had a man casually talking about eating his Big Mac and how his neighbor had just been revealed as the-Worst-Human-Being-In-the-World.
Ramsey ruminated about Castro:
“My neighbor’s got big testicles because we see this dude every day.”
“I barbecue with this dude. We eat ribs and whatnot and listen to salsa music…”
“We eat ribs with this dude.”
“He’s not doing anything but the average stuff. You see what I’m saying? There’s nothing exciting about him…well, until today.”
Finally he cemented his Internet superstar status with his line about his chance encounter with the long-missing April Berry.
“I knew something was wrong when a little, pretty white girl ran into a black man’s arms. Something is wrong here. Dead giveaway.”
Thus was born the line that launched a thousand internet memes.
His hair was wild and unkempt. The white T-shirt he wore didn’t exactly look freshly laundered. The guy looked like he should be working under the hood of a car and not playing the part of the dashing hero.
Everything about Charles Ramsey seems set up to be ridiculed. Everything except this: He did the right thing. He helped where others might not have choosing not to get involved. Ramsey saved a life. There’s no arguing no matter how unkempt, unpolished and unpretentious Ramsey’s demeanor none of it matters more than his good deed. Which doesn’t mean there weren’t those who were made a bit uncomfortable by Ramsey.
One blogger put it this way, “I must admit that I am guilty of watching and laughing at Ramsey throughout the video, but then I began to think about all of the recent “African-American” internet sensations and came to the conclusion that people are laughing at us, not with us. Don’t get me wrong, when it comes to offensive/embarrassing videos the internet/YOUTUBE does not discriminate, but taking a closer look at Ramsey, Antoine Dodson, and Sweet Brown one can only think that these working class, uneducated African-Americans are fulfilling a need America has had for over 150 years of seeing African- Americans perform.”
Why, if Brother Ramsey would just get his teeth fixed, cut his hair, put on a clean white shirt with a collar and a tie, splashed on some Old Spice and smiled real wide and pretty for the camera he’d be a credit to his race and a hero we could cheer for.
Anybody uncomfortable with Ramsey’s speech and appearance needs to back off, sit down, shut up and regroup because its their priorities that are out of whack. Ramsey did a good deed and that is worth a hi-five, not the back of the hand treatment from the arbiters of authenticity.
“But he’s a clown,” they sputter with indignation. “Just LOOK at him. Listen to how he speaks. He’s an embarrassment.”
There’s only been one Sidney Poitier out there in our lifetime and everyone isn’t going to be the Perfect Racial Representative. What is it about Ramsey that distresses some people so much? Is it his hairstyle (half fro/half not)? Is it his inarticulate way of speaking or his fondness for fast food burgers?
What about it is about the guy that bothers so many about Ramsey?
Could it be this?
Who precisely is Ramsey embarrassing? Certainly not Amanda Berry. Michelle Knight or Gina DeJesus whom Ramsey helped to freed from ten years in a living hell. Like most horrific crimes of this nature where someone is held captive for years against their will, the nation was riveted to this story. Then something else bright and shiny came along to capture the attention of the media and they and the rest of us wandered away. That’s how short-Attention Span Theater works.
While Ramsey’s moment of fame may disgust the High Priests of the Black Pride Brigade, how many of them look just like him when they wake up in the morning? How many of them dread bumping into a Charles Ramsey lookalike they’re related to at their next family reunion?
Charles Ramsey is not only one of us in his ordinariness, he’s the face we see glaring back in the mirror after a hard night of drinking and partying. Some of us don’t much like that face and wish it would just go away.
The same way as earlier media-made stars/Internet sensations Ted Williams, the homeless man with the golden voice and Antoine “Hide Your Kids, Hide Your Wife” Dodson quickly cashed in on their fleeting fame, Ramsey is making his move.
He’s going to be a motivational speaker. Talking to whom and telling them what I could not begin to guess.
Enjoy the ride, Charles. There will plenty of others looking for a way to turn a bizarre crime into a money-maker. You only happened to be the first to cut the deal.
Anybody with their Jockeys in a wad over Americans (particularly the White Americans) laughing at The Charles Ramsey Show needs to take a pill and relax. Everybody plays the fool sometime. Some will even make a buck off of it. Relax. It’s not as if this program will be renewed for another season.
- Cleveland hero Charles Ramsey to become a paid speaker (noliesradio.org)
- THE OFFICIAL Charles Ramsey Auto-Tune (Not the Bootleg One): “DEAD GIVEAWAY” – Hero Charles Ramsey Songified! (shabooty.com)
- Hero Charles Ramsey Rescued Amanda Berry (everyjoe.com)
- Cleveland Hero Charles Ramsey Rewarded With Burgers For Life (npr.org)