Way to puncture my good mood, The Smoking Gun. This happened:
Charles Ramsey, whose 911 call and subsequent TV interviews have made him a microcelebrity, was once a repeat spousal abuser whose marriage ended in divorce following a 2003 felony conviction for battering his wife.
Here’s the thing: this is not trivial information. It’s not irrelevant dirt someone dug up just to spite this guy. It doesn’t make his actions with Amanda Berry any less powerful or admirable. It doesn’t change the fact that he helped three women escape from captivity. It doesn’t suggest any ulterior motives for helping Amanda and her daughter break through that door.
It does, however, put a little damper on this:
Ramsey has also reportedly said that he went to help Berry because he “was raised to help women in distress.”
No, that doesn’t quite work.
His ex-wife reports that he has since apologized for his actions to her. It’s possible that he learned from his experiences and now understands that domestic violence is a horror that no one should have to endure. It’s possible that he stepped up to help Amanda Berry, while thinking it was an everyday case of partner-battering, because he knows, as a former abuser, how important it is for bystanders to step in.
I don’t think that if you’ve done something bad in the past, that it determines your character for the rest of your life. I don’t buy into “once a misogynist batterer, always a misogynist batterer.” We should have room to learn from our mistakes and live our lives as better people. It should be okay for bad husbands to grow up to be the bravest of neighbors.
Except for guys like those Castros. They can be marooned on an island with a revolver loaded with only two bullets, for all I care.
Awesome dude continues to be awesome:
On Tuesday, CNN host Anderson Cooper asked Ramsey what it felt like to find out that he had been living next to kidnapping victims.
“See, that’s why now I’m having trouble sleeping,” he explained. “See, up until yesterday, the only thing that kept me from losing sleep was the lack of money. See what I’m saying? So now that that’s going on, and I could have done this last year, not this hero stuff, just do the right thing.”
“Because there’s a lot of people, they’re saying you’re a hero,” the CNN host noted.
“No, no, no. Bro, I’m a Christian, an American, and just like you,” Ramsey insisted. “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. You have to have cajones, bro.”
Cooper noted that the FBI had offered a reward for at least two of the victims.
“I tell you what you do, give it to them,” Ramsey said. “Because if folks been following this case since last night, you been following me since last night, you know I got a job anyway.”
Mr. Ramsey, you put the “being a coward, don’t want to get in nobody’s business” syndrome away when most people would just assume a “domestic violence dispute” was private business. You had cojones where most other people would have left a woman like Amanda Berry to fend for herself. You assumed (based on a lifetime of experience, I have no doubt) a “little pretty white girl” would be afraid of a black man and you STILL stepped up to the plate.
I contributed to a GoFundMe campaign for you yesterday, and you deserve every penny that gets thrown your way. If you want to give all that reward money over to Amanda, Gina and Michelle, that’s your business, but don’t be surprised if they turn around and spend it on nice things for YOU.
I’m sure you’ve seen this story by now:
Berry went missing in April 2003 after last being seen leaving her job at a Cleveland-area Burger King. She disappeared the day before her 17th birthday. One year later, Dejesus, then 14, went missing while walking home from her middle school in the same part of the city. “Both these girls, Amanda and Gina, went missing when the sun was out,” FBI special agent Phil Torsney said in a 2009 podcast asking the public for help. “Amanda was about 7:00 at night; Gina about 3:00 in the afternoon.” The home where they were found Monday was in a residential neighborhood not far from where all three were last seen.
“These three young ladies have provided us with the ultimate definition of survival and perseverance,” Anthony said. “The healing can now begin.”
They are all free and reuniting with their families because a guy named Charles Ramsey heard Amanda Berry screaming for help and came to her aid.
This guy is amazing. Every town should have a Charles Ramsey with boots on the ground. They should give him a house, salary, health plan and transportation stipend so that he can walk around all day looking for people in distress. When he finds them, their lives will be better for having breathed in his presence. America will soon discover that it is not so shocking for a little pretty white girl to run into a black man’s arms. He will be there for the missing white girls AND the missing brown girls; for the imprisoned sex slaves and garden-variety domestic violence cases. If the police or emergency dispatchers act like douches with the rescued girls, Charles Ramsey will step in and ensure that they get the help they need. He will deal with the press so the girls don’t have to. No kidnapper, sexual predator or batterer will be safe when Charles Ramsey is in town. This guy punches Bystander Syndrome in the nuts. He is a credit to the human race.
I’m not even being facetious here. I am genuinely in awe of Mr. Ramsey.