Wednesday, May 8, 2013

I ain't got no time for casting Charles Ramsey as a black stereotype

I’m putting my foot down.  This is not a Sweet Brown moment.  I don’t want to see viral videos of Charles Ramsey talking about his rescue of three women from a Cleveland house.

By now, most of the nation has seen the news interview of Ramsey and heard the 911 audio after he helped Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Mchelle Knight escape after missing between 2002 and 2004. 

In the words of Sweet Brown, “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”  What’s that?  This is not a time for mimicking Ramsey for his appearance.  Nope.  This is not time to ridicule him for his hair, his dress, his lack of dental care and his language during the 911 call.

Ain’t nobody got time for casting Ramsey as a racial stereotype.  That’s what happened with Sweet Brown.  Her fame is the result of a nations thirst to expose black people as obtuse caricatures from the other side of the tracks.

I ain’t got time for anyone laughing at Ramsey for being ill-equipped to make an acceptable presentation before the press.  The truth is most people aren’t prepared to make a statement before a rolling camera.  Give him credit.  As much as Ramsey lacked in visual presence, he overcame with strong interviews.

He told the story with class.  He told the truth.  He shared what he knew.  Ramsey shared angst with having a neighbor he ate ribs with and listened to salsa music without knowing the rest of the story.  He told the nation he and his boys would have taken care of it long ago if they knew.  

“When a young, pretty white woman runs into the arms of a Black man you know something wrong,” yes, he said that.

That’s the point where the reporter decided to end the interview.  It’s the point where he kicks it back to the studio.  I’m guessing the producer ain’t got no time for that.

What is that? Ramsey told the truth.  It’s rare that a black man is met with hugs from a white woman.  When it happens it leaves a brother knowing something is wrong.  It’s not normal.  Most white women are quick to flee when they see a man like Ramsey.  Yes, Ramsey was correct to raise the issue, and the reporter was wrong to end the interview in the middle of a critical point in the story.

Maybe people ain’t got time for that.  Again, what is that? Hmm. Check this out.  If you want to hide three women abducted for over 10 years, place them in a black neighborhood.  Hide them among folks like Ramsey.  Why? Because the police may come and knock on the door, but it’s unlikely they will come back to check on things if no one answers the door.

That’s what happened at that house.  The police had come before.  A neighbor saw something suspicious.  They came.  They knocked. They left.  They never came back.

We ain’t got time for that. Oh, there’s more.

I ain’t got time for Anderson Coopers suggestion that Ramsey desired compensation for his heroics.  Cooper asked Ramsey if he would like a reward.

"I get a Paycheck. Give the reward to the girls they rescued," Ramsey responded while waving his check.

So, the black dude has to be framed as an opportunist.  Why did you go there Anderson?  Would you ask the same question to a white guy living on the other side of the tracks? Would you? Seriously.  Would you?

By now, I’m certain readers are screaming at how this story has been framed within the context of race.  Why would I do that? Why does it seem that everything is about race?

I’m not saying everything is about race. I’m simply warning you.  Don’t go there.  Don’t do it.  Don’t remix Ramsey’s interviews.  Don’t post them on YouTube with a series of rewinds with a line about eating ribs and listening to salsa.

I’m warning you.  Don’t post pictures with quotes about dental care.  Don’t make jokes about his hair.  I ain’t got time for any of that.

Yes, Ramsey represents a segment of black life in America.  He wasn’t wearing a suit and tie, but he rescued three women.  That makes him a hero.  Respect that!

Good job bruh.


  1. Sandee WashingtonMay 8, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    The postings about Ramsey are about race and stereotypes and they are sickening. And from what I've seen the posts are coming from white people.I don't like it. Ramsey was extremely well spoken and he is a compassionate man who astutely expressed how this experience affected him. One more stereotype though ... I'm a white woman and in my life I've known, hugged, and respected a lot of black men of various economic backgrounds.

  2. Who cares about the Ramsey's appearance, he helped rescue these women. I do believe that is what is most important.