♠ And then a Hero Comes Along…♠
“I knew something was wrong when a little, pretty white girl ran into a black man’s arms. Something is wrong here. Dead giveaway. DEEEEAD GIVEAWAY!” — Charles Ramsey.
DETROIT (JSC) — In this internet crazy age, things go viral faster than Chicken Pox in a pre-school. It is virtually impossible during a given day to avoid the latest internet pablum that spreads like wildfire. Whether it’s a stray #hashtag on Twitter, to an innocuous trending topic, to one of a multitude of ridiculously hilarious memes on Facebook & Instagram, to some ridiculous YouTube video trend that gets way out of control (see: Shake, Harlem), you couldn’t avoid this crap if you tried. Some of the most notorious are the man-on-the-street TV interviews that eventually find their way onto YouTube. I think we all know someone who uncorks the obnoxiously overplayed “Ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat!” from last year’s Tennessee internet “superstar” Sweet Brown. Others remember Antoine Dodson, 2011’s internet champ, getting everywhere with the “Hide Yo’ Kids. Hide Yo’ Wife” and managing to parlay it into such things as free tickets to a UFC Event at the Palace of Auburn Hills. Every so often, however, some absolute Gold falls from the heavens. Something that is the perfect combination of topical, unbelievable, and brimming with soundbytes. That’s where Charles Ramsey comes in. This dude’s startling act of heroism yesterday in Cleveland — and the subsequent interview for the ages — has made him an unexpected superstar and proved that regardless of who you are or how you look, you can still be a true champion. Let’s Go.
So late last night, as I was watching the end of the Red Wings overtime win over Anaheim and switching over to the Spurs/Warriors instant classic, I was on Twitter — as I often am during sporting events — when I started to see random retweets of this interview of a gentleman at the scene of the rescue of the three missing women in Cleveland: Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight. Before I go any further: This story in and of itself is one of the most incredible things I’ve heard in years. Everyone knows what happens when someone goes missing. The chances of that person being found alive are microscopic if the search goes longer than 48 hours. So when you start talking about 10 to 12 YEARS, if you hear of someone being found after being missing for that long, it’s often accompanied by the words “the remains of…” or something involving dental records. So to have those three women, who were abducted between 2002 and 2004, come out ALIVE in 2013 is freaking incredible. But as I read more about Berry’s harrowing escape attempt, along comes Charles Ramsey. At first, I thought this cat was just some random dude on the street that they stuck a camera and a hot mic in front of. Turns out that I was Dead Wrong! This guy, along with a friend of his, kicked in the door to the home of the Castro Brothers (Ariel, Onil, and Pedro) and helped pull the girl to safety before calling 9-1-1. That alone makes this dude a hero of the highest order. The interview that followed on Cleveland ABC affiliate WEWS made Charles Ramsey a legend:
“I barbecue with [Castro]. We eat ribs and whatnot and listen to salsa music…” — Charles Ramsey
My initial reaction to this video: Sweet Jesus! The myriad of one-liners, drops, GIFs, and memes that were destined to come out of this were gonna be off the friggin’ meter. From the moment he mentioned he was “eating my McDonald’s” to his kicking in the door to his sudden flinching at the sound of the police siren to his now famous references to eating BBQ ribs and listening to salsa music with the kidnappers to the legendary quote that you saw above about a “pretty little white girl running into a black man’s arms.” The tears of laughter did not stop flowing. What makes this interview so great is that this dude either doesn’t realize how huge he came up or he just doesn’t care. These three women were held captive for between 10 and 12 years, amazingly unbeknownst to the rest of that neighborhood on Cleveland’s west side. In a day and age where people are quick to look the other way, throw up their hands and say “that’s none of my business,” Charles Ramsey and his homeboy heard this girl’s cries for help and helped free her despite not knowing what the hell was going on in that house. It easily could’ve been a domestic dispute, a sexual assault, or worse. He needs to be commended for doing what a lot of people would be, frankly, too b*tch-made to do. Anyone who thinks this man is not a hero is either thirsty for attention, or one of these jack-wagons who just likes to take the opposite side of everything. They were probably one of those clowns who used to tell the teacher that they forgot to collect an assignment in school. Don’t be that guy!
The story of these three women — two of whom were teenagers when they were abducted — will unfold in the coming weeks, and it very likely will not be a pleasant one. Berry, for instance, was 17 when she was snatched up on April 21, 2003. Putting that in perspective, I graduated from Michigan State 11 days later. She’s now 27 with a 6-year-old child that Ramsey described as “part white, part hispanic” in the equally incredible 911 Call. I think we can do the simple math on how that child was conceived. We don’t know much yet about DeJesus or Knight, but I’m guessing that what they went through was just as horrific. On to these three dirtbags who kidnapped them, the Castro Brothers: Ariel Castro — the 52-year-old that Berry pointed out as her kidnapper — was a Cleveland bus driver who once got in trouble for leaving a kid on his bus. He was able to skate when police found there was no evidence that it was intentional. Police were called to his house one other time on another unrelated matter. Neighbors had tried to alert police to odd behavior at the Castro house in the past but the police were rather half-assed in their responses. The fact that all three of these women (and a 6-year-old born in captivity) are alive today is proof that whichever deity you pray to works in mysterious ways.
As for Charles Ramsey, a man who works as a dishwasher at Hodge’s Restaurant in Cleveland, he’s become the stuff of Meme Legend. Whether it’s the meme pics such as the one to the left, Pic Stitch mashups of him next to Eddie Murphy’s barber character from Coming to America, the Dos Equis pictures or my personal favorite, the pic stitch of Charles Ramsey & Sho’Nuff from The Last Dragon, he is the new KANG of the internet. The Cleveland Cavaliers better set this dude up w/some courtside seats. On second thought, this man is a hero and no hero should be subjected to the Cavs. The Cleveland Indians better have this man throwing out the first pitch at a game. Hell, give him his own night. Charles Ramsey Night at Jacobs Field: 99 cent Ribs and Salsa Music playing all night long. If that ever comes to pass, and the Tigers happen to be playing the Tribe that night, I’d make the road trip to Cleveland for that one. All silliness aside, Charles Ramsey is a shining example of When Keeping It Real Goes Right. Unlike the numerous others who became internet famous for all the wrong reasons, Charles was in front of that camera after he helped end one of the nation’s longest missing persons cases. Expect McDonald’s to get this man on a few commercials as they’ve already reached out to him (see tweet below) and I’m guessing he’s not gonna have to pay for a drink in that city again. This dude is the new People’s Champion and the title fits him.
We salute the courage of Ohio kidnap victims & respect their privacy. Way to go Charles Ramsey- we’ll be in touch.
— McDonald’s Corp. (@McDonaldsCorp) May 7, 2013
In closing, I can’t fathom what life must’ve been like for those three women. To have a decade-plus of your life stolen from you by some sick “motherf—er” and to have God knows what done do you in that time — we know that Berry had a child and her mother died in that time frame — is unconscionable. These women are going to need years of therapy, that poor little girl especially as she is experiencing her first days of freedom ever. If not for Berry taking a crazy risk and Charles Ramsey putting down his Big Mac®, getting off his porch, and kicking that door in, they may not ever have gotten out alive. I hope the Castro Brothers pay the stiffest of prices for what they did to those women. And as for Charles Ramsey, enjoy these 15 minutes in the sun, brother man. You earned it. It took some “really big testicles” to do what you did, bro. Sho’Nuff!
Until Next Time, That’s The Way It Is. Tuesday, May 7, 2013.
The 185th Day since the Detroit Lions’ Last Victory
Take Care, God Bless, Always Dare to Be Different, and G.O.M.A.B. Σ