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May 8, 2013

Cleveland: An American Hero

The man who freed the three Ohio women from his neighbor’s house has become a sensation on the internet, mostly so that people can laugh at him.  Reminds me of Antoine Dodson (here’s a YouTube if you are unfamiliar, though you have to see the remix at the end to get the point, I guess). It’s not so much the media: they are just filming the guy and reporting his words. Is the culprit is the sly racism of social media where, if enough people think a stereotyped presentation is funny, the video becomes viral or is it the man himself. It may be the latter as the internet remix show’s a little of Ramsey’s own awareness and cynicism.  When asked about the reaction on the girls’ faces when they saw the sunlight, Ramsey replied “Bro, I knew something was wrong when a little pretty white girl ran into a black man’s arms. Something is wrong here. Dead giveaway.”

But the crowning of Ramsey as a media celebrity and American hero, and the drama of the rescue might obscure the fact that this crime in a minority, poor neighborhood, with a high rate of abandoned and foreclosed homes couldn’t seem to get the attention of the authorities for 10 years.

– Karen Donley

(photo: Scott Shaw/The Plain Dealer – AP. caption: Neighbor Charles Ramsey speaks to media near the home on the 2200 block of Seymour Avenue, where three missing women were rescued in Cleveland, on Monday, May 6, 2013. Cheering crowds gathered on the street where police said Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michele Knight, who went missing about a decade ago and were found earlier in the day.)

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