Charles Ramsey is a legitimate American hero. He doesn’t want fame. He doesn’t want money. He’s an unassuming, raspy-voiced dishwasher with a refreshing desire to help people in crisis.

He’s a brave black man who deserves recognition for his unselfish efforts and I hope police acknowledge his courage.

Ramsey was responsible for freeing Amanda Berry and two other women who had been held captive at his neighbor’s home in Cleveland for 10 years, and today, the women are free from terror and Ramsey is being praised, correctly, as a hero.

What if Ramsey hadn’t shown the guts to help these women? Would they still be captives?

Even though the police have downplayed Ramsey’s role in freeing the women, the 911 tapes tell the true story of a man who stepped up to save Berry, 27, Michelle Knight, 32, and Georgina DeJesus, who is about 23.

All three women vanished when they were teenagers between 2002 and 2004. Police said they were raped and forced into multiple pregnancies over a horrific span of a decade. Police also said the 6-year-old girl is Berry’s daughter.

“I knew something was wrong when a little, pretty white girl ran into a black man’s arms,” Ramsey told CNN. “Something is wrong here. Dead giveaway.”

What a revealing statement about race. And here’s another noteworthy comment: Ramsey said the little girl had to be “homeless” or “got problems” to rely on a black man for her safety. He’s probably right. I can’t recall a situation where a black man has shared his feelings about race so candidly after being involved in a dramatic rescue.

So it Ramsey also an unsuspecting racial healer?

A CNN anchorwoman suggested that Ramsey may have helped improve race relations in America. That may be a stretch, but it’s uplifting to see a black man on television associated with a positive news event; a black man being hailed as a hero instead of being vilified as a defendant. Perhaps some who only see black men as thugs and gangsters may view black men differently after hearing Ramsey’s story.

“Bro, I’m a Christian, an American, and just like you,” Ramsey told CNN. “We bleed same blood, put our pants on the same way. It’s just that you got to put that — being a coward, and I don’t want to get in nobody’s business. You got to put that away for a minute.”

Ramsey wasn’t trying to make race a central issue in the rescue of the three women. He’s not a college-trained expert on race relations. He was simply speaking from his heart, but in speaking openly, and without a political agenda, Ramsey indirectly shined a bright light on race in America – a topic most folks tend to sidestep.

Indeed, Ramsey’s poignant remark about a pretty little white girl running into a black man’s arms has gone viral and is perhaps a more powerful summation about race than any professional pundit could ever articulate.

It’s a shame that when some folks initially heard Ramsey’s story, they dismissed him as a scam artist who was trying to grab the spotlight. But now that we all know the facts, it appears that America could use more folks like Ramsey.

“I’m eating my McDonald’s, I come outside, and I see this girl going nuts, trying to get out of the house,” Ramsey told CNN. “I got on the porch and she said, ‘Help me get out. I’ve been here a long time.” I figured it was a domestic violence dispute. So I open the door. And we can’t get in that way ’cause of how the door is, it’s so much that a body can’t fit through; only your hand.”

Ramsey and another man broke down the door.

“We kicked the bottom,” Ramsey said. “And she comes out with a little girl and she says ‘Call 911. My name is Amanda Berry.” He immediately called 911 — and only then realized that Berry was the woman who had been missing for 10 years.

“I thought this girl was dead,” Ramsey said. “She’s like, ‘This (expletive) kidnapped me and my daughter,'” Ramsey told the 911 operator.

Police have arrested three brothers, Ariel Castro, 52, the owner of the house and a former Cleveland school bus driver; Pedro Castro, 54; and Onil Castro, 50, in connection with the alleged abductions. Police said the women suffered years of horrible abuse, including rape, beatings and being kept in chains.

One former inmate who was serving time in the same jail as the Castro brothers told reporters that prisoners were taunting the Castros for hours. “They were screaming at him all night,” the 20-year-old ex-prisoner told The New York Daily News after his release. “He was just laying there, taking it. They were saying, ‘Don’t feed that rapist! He doesn’t deserve any respect!’”

Ramsey said he had no idea that Ariel Castro was a kidnapper, an abuser of women, and a social deviant.

“I’ve been here a year,” Ramsey said. “You see where I’m coming from? I barbecue with this dude. We eat ribs and whatnot and listen to salsa music.”

Meanwhile, Ramsey said he doesn’t want any of the potential reward money. He said the money should be given to the three women who have lost so many years of their lives.

“I tell you what you do, give it to them,” Ramsey said. “You know I got a job anyway.”

Spoken like a true American hero.

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30 thoughts on “COMMENTARY: Charles Ramsey: American Hero or Racial Healer?

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  12. FIFTY AND PHUNE on said:

    I saw that Joey now that money is involved he said that he got their first. He was dodging the camera. I guess he got his immigration status straighted out in a hurry and know he wants to talk. Chalres even gave hin hsi props for helping him out. He never said I did it all by myself.

  13. Ralph Watts Jr., Cleveland Resident on said:

    • JOHN WALSH, father of abducted Adam Walsh who was found two decades later, LAUNCHED THE TELEVISION SHOW: “AMERICA’S MOST WANTED.”
    • Charles Ramsey IS SOMEHOW A VILLAIN because he’s eligible to receive a $25,000.00 reward.

  14. Shelly Cofield on said:

    It’s bad enough living in Cleveland and I have to hear these stupid, Ignorant and childish comments about Charles Ramsey, but I thought you Tom Joyner was better than that. I dont understand how all of you can just joke about his apperance and forget he helped end a 10 year nightmare for 3 women. Tom Joyner and crew you are proof, just because your have money you can’t buy class or charater…Ex Fan!!!

    • Shelly! You are obviously a fly by night fan, because Tom Joyner and crew will give you your due when it is well deserved! Charles Ramsey is an American hero – no doubt, but the man is also a character – let’s just be honest here!! The Bible fittingly said that the Lord will use the things of this world that are foolish and silly to confuse the wise. Charles Ramsey is refreshing and the TJMS and their loyal, ride till the wheels fall off fans love Charles and we are just having a little fun while being Seriously Proud of this Bro!!!

      • Tami on said:

        It’s funny that you used that scripture. I was reading an article on BAW before I read this one and that is the same scripture that I used in my comments. Your comment was confirmation.

        Look at God! So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

        That man, with his grammar, hair, low paying job, etc. is the same guy that God can use to change some peoples opinions about those who they look down on, or feel are useless. God showed up and showed out through Mr. Ramsey and folks are wondering why him. I love it!

        Also, Tom does give people their props, but like any family, Tom and they crew are going to joke around and poke fun. They have made fun of Gerald, Rev. Al, etc. It’s all in love.

    • Joy on said:

      Shelly get a grip: Oh yeah you are no longer a fan… you probably won’t see this. At any rate get serious. I know you couldn’t possibly think that black folks weren’t going to comment on Ramsey’s hair, and teeth. You know black folks trip on both accords (hair, and teeth). LOL LOL The man’s a hero… matter what!!

    • joey on said:

      TOm Joyner is trying to just keep ratings up, that is the bottom line, I stop listening a long time ago
      Sometimes he can sound so dam ignorant that it just kills me how the rest of the Talk show staff acts to, they just trying to keep the rating up, so what do they do

      talk about black folks and de-humanize us as much as possible,,, bottom line they will have to pay for it soon, because what they don’t know is that there talking about themselves. Dumb-azz’s

  15. What is unspoken……the producers of: Late Night With David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel Live and the Tonight Show are elbowing each other to see who will be the first one to get Charles Ramsey on their shows. A similar thing happened to the homeless man with the perfect diction. Where did he end up? Oh yeah….right….on Dr. Phil.

    • Exactly. There’s a Mr. Ramsey in all of our families regardless of race or how distant. I can see DrPhil and others trying to change him or poke and pry for the “real” Charles Ramsey. Best believe his credentials were thoroughly investigated and some news room is prepping a story or four. I hope Mr. Ramsey does not change unless it’s simply getting some replacement teeth, and still let that be at his own choice and not the vulturous media or hollywood.

    • Joy on said:

      Ivan so what’s your point?? So many insecure black people. Yes I said it, and I’m black. People need to stop trippin on what white people say, and do. Even if he wasn’t black the talk shows, and media outlets would be courting him.

      • Ivan B. Cohen on said:

        “Even if he wasn’t black the talk shows and media outlets would be courting him.” I had to juxtapose Charles Ramsey’s situation with the white airline pilot who brought that plane down on the waters off of New York without losing a single passenger and how many talk shows fell all over themselves to get him. At least he did not wind up on Dr. Phil. No secret as to which ethnic group trips more and they are not necessarily black. They dominate the media. They are the ultimate control freaks.

  16. Sara J. Findley on said:

    my classmate’s step-sister makes $69 an hour on the computer. She has been out of work for ten months but last month her income was $14980 just working on the computer for a few hours. Read more here… http://www.Jax3.cℴm

  17. God bless this man and others just like him, this is the kind of story we needed to hear. And my heart goes out to the young ladies and their children. “Can’t wait to see the movie”.

  18. joey on said:

    When they first interviewed the latino guy, he couldn’t speak english, now when he was on another interview, he spoke english, and he then said Charles Ramsey never came to there rescue, they where already out of the house, now how did this latino young guy understand Amanda Berry if he could not speak english, Why does it matter who did what? they make everything about race, he still helped in caring about what was going on. these spanish people and latino people when you come to our country please learn how to speak english, now all of sudden he cannot speak english, was amanda berry speaking spanish to him, when she was telling him to help her out of the door, before THis Castro comes back, so how was he able to understand her,, PLease explain it to me. this country is so hung up on Race. ANd talk about IMIGRATION laws, before you come to this country at least learn how to speak English. (Bottom line), or get someone to teach you.They make me so sick with this Race WHO DID WHAT! what does it matter.

    • Joy on said:

      Joey there are so many conflicting stories out there. But it’s my understanding that the other rescurer is a Puerto Rican, and if so it’s probable that he’s a US citizen since Puerto Rico is a US commonwealth Territory (meaning people born in Puerto Rico are indeed US citizens). Read up on history

      • joey on said:

        @ joy I know there are alot of conflicting stories that is how the media is, they are like Rats,
        just low down dirty rats, two-faced low dirty corrupted. so yes I understand now, thank you,

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