Charles Ramsey: I’m No Hero

Anderson Cooper and Charles Ramsey(CNN) — Within hours of becoming a national hero, a viral video star and the top topic on Twitter, Charles Ramsey talked about having trouble getting sleep.

It wasn’t because of all the excitement that followed his knocking down a Cleveland neighbor’s door, freeing three women and a girl who police say were held hostage for years.

Instead, Ramsey told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Tuesday, it was about knowing he had lived for a year near the captive women on the city’s West Side.

“Up until yesterday the only thing that kept me from losing sleep was the lack of money,” the restaurant dishwasher said on “Anderson Cooper 360.”

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78 Responses to Charles Ramsey: I’m No Hero

  1. Arlene Castro cries for the kidnapped victims

  2. [wpvideo H7RMeDNO]

  3. Race, Redemption and Charles Ramsey

    This past March, a Philadelphia man named Christopher Knafelc jumped onto the train tracks at a local SEPTA station to save a man who had fallen off the platform and into harm’s way. His story quickly became a tale of heroism and redemption; Knafelc, it turned out, was a “recovering drug addict with a long rap sheet,” according to the Associated Press, a man who “often wondered if he was a good person.”

    The answer was yes: Knafelc’s act of bravery meant he could hold “his head a little higher, viewing the good deed he did, and the praise that followed, as another sign that he is on the right path in life,” according to the AP. “It did help reinforce that I’m a good person,” Knafelc said. “I questioned that a lot because of my colorful past.”

    This past included charges of theft, a DUI and child endangerment. But the media narrative was clear and feel-good. Knafelc’s act of heroism had redeemed him, proved his worth to society. “It’s amazing,” a transit worker told reporters. “This incident may be the start of really good things for him.”

    Knafelc, who is white, is not nearly as well known as Wesley Autrey, the African American “Subway Samaritan” who in 2007 achieved instant fame after he saved a 20-year-old film student on the train tracks in Harlem. Unlike Knafelc’s case, in which no train was pulling into the station, Autrey saw the lights of an oncoming train and nevertheless, threw himself over the man, lying in a drainage ditch as train cars passed over them. It was an extraordinary act of courage; Autrey was showered with praise and gifts; Donald Trump presented him with a check for $10,000 and saluted him in the pages of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People issue. He was even an honored guest at George W. Bush’s 2007 State of the Union Address, where he received a standing ovation.

    It probably didn’t hurt that before he was hailed as a hero in such official quarters, Autrey was a “modest, hardworking construction worker” and Navy veteran who strived to be a parent to his kids, unlike his own father. “The world looks at black men as deadbeat dads,” he told New York Magazine. “But that’s not me.”

    But what if it was? What if it turned out that Autrey had a rap sheet like Knafelc’s? Worse, what if it turned out that he had a history of violence and had done time in prison for hurting people? Would “convicted felon” have trumped “hero”? Would he still have been welcome at the White House?

    It took just one day for Charles Ramsey, the black man who helped save Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michele Knight from a ten-year-long living nightmare in a Cleveland home, to go from hero to “hero” in the press. “America is embracing the hardworking dishwasher,” the New York Daily News reported on May 8, calling him “America’s hero neighbor.” The next day, the Daily News headline read “Cleveland ‘hero’ and Internet celeb Charles Ramsey has a criminal past.”

    When people say America is a place of second chances…they’re not speaking about black people. Got it?! Just so y’all won’t get any ideas!

  4. Pingback: What Is a Hero? | Awake Black Woman

  5. Cleveland will investigate 9-1-1 call from Amanda Berry

    CLEVELAND, Ohio — Cleveland’s safety director issued a statement Tuesday giving assurance that the actions of the dispatchers who handled the 9-1-1 calls regarding Amanda Berry are under review.

    Berry’s call to 9-1-1 Monday afternoon after she escaped captivity has been criticized by online commenters and social websites.

    Martin L. Flask, director of the city’s Department of Public Safety, said his department is aware of the criticism the dispatcher received for his rude attitude toward Charles Ramsey, the man who called 9-1-1 after he heard Berry screaming “Help, help me out” while trying to escape from the Seymour Avenue home of Ariel Castro.

  6. This is truly Charles Ramsey’s redemption story.

    Charles Ramsey redemption

    After news broke yesterday that Cleveland hero Charles Ramsey was involved in a handful of domestic violence arrests involving his ex-wife, he now tells TMZ that those same incidents changed his life for the better.

    Charles Ramsey1

    • Ametia says:

      Here’s the thing: Mark Sanford can hike off the trails and bang his mistress, leave office in disgrace, re-enter the political arena and get voted back in with his SIDEPIECE by his side, BREAK into his EX WIFE’S HOME, and still get back into our US GOVERNMENT, and invoke God’s as his Lord & Savior.

      So Charles Ramsey deserves the same benefit of the doubt that he’s REDEEMED, for his past transgressons too!

      It’s RACE & CLASS. We are NOT fooled here.

  7. Ohio kidnap suspect made ‘deliberate and depraved decisions,’ prosecutor says

    Cleveland (CNN) — Ariel Castro maintained his home as a prison for three young women, holding them in seclusion and sexually assaulting them for his own pleasure, a Cuyahoga County, Ohio, prosecutor told a judge Thursday.

    Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Brian Murphy told the judge “the charges against Mr. Castro are based on premeditated, deliberate and depraved decisions to snatch three young ladies from Cleveland’s Westside streets to be used in whatever self-gratifying, self-serving way he saw fit.”

    “Today, the situation has turned, your honor,” Murphy said. “Mr. Castro stands before you as a captive. … The women are free to resume their lives that were interrupted.”

    Cleveland Municipal Court Judge Lauren Moore ordered Castro held on $8 million bond — $2 million for each of the four victims — the three women and the child born to one of them during her captivity.

    Castro, handcuffed and wearing a blue jail jumpsuit, looked down through the entire hearing. He did not speak.

    He is accused of kidnapping the women — Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight and Georgina “Gina” DeJesus — from the same Cleveland neighborhood between 2002 and 2004.

    They were freed Monday after Berry staged a daring escape while Castro was away from the house. She drew the attention of neighbors who helped her break through a door and summon police.

    According to an initial incident report obtained by CNN, Knight said she became pregnant at least five times during her captivity in Castro’s 1,400-square-foot home.

    In conversations with police immediately after she was freed, she said that when Castro learned she was pregnant, he would “make her abort the baby,” according to the document.

    Knight “stated that he starved her for at least 2 weeks, then he repeatedly punched her in the stomach until she miscarried,” the initial police report states.

  8. Police audio of kidnapped women’s rescue

  9. I hope Jake Tapper get some therapy for his insecurities. Black heroism is much too much for him.

  10. Damn! The white media is the most insecure mofos on the planet. A black man can’t even help women in distress w/out someone digging in his past

  11. You’d better not be black in America and labeled a hero. CNN/ white media will let you know that honor belongs to non black folks. Got it?

    • Ametia says:

      Don’t look for the media to honor our black heroes, unless it benefits them. That’s how the game works. History has proven that we have to keep telling our own stories to each generation that comes along, through oral and written, because the bought and paid for talking heads only job is to spin, lie, distort, and embellish to make those BENJAMINS for their MASTERS & THEMSELVES.

  12. CNN is going to keep looking until they find the white hero who rescued those young women.

  13. rikyrah says:

    ALLL the shyt that we’ve heard about what happened to those girls..



    in all the accounts that the neighbors have pointed out in when they called the police..

    seems ‘out of place’ to you.

    does this deluded White bitch really think that if calls had come from the best neighborhood in Cleveland describing what some of those neighbors had talked about…that it wouldn’t have been seriously investigated.

    why the fuck does her stupid ass think those animals CHOSE that neighborhood?

    for the same reason Jeffery Dahmer chose the neighborhood he lived in.

    here’s reality, you stupid heifer.

    Office Friendly ain’t so friendly for certain groups of people in this country.


    Sepia’s opening comment:

    White Liberal Racism/Classism rears it’s ugly head….again. According to Slate’s Amanda Marcotte, the Ariel Castro’s neighbors were imagining things, because there’s no way the police would ignore calls for help. That’s mighty white and affluent of you, Amanda.


    Are Ariel Castro’s Neighbors Inadvertently Creating False Memories?
    By Amanda Marcotte Posted Wednesday, May 8, 2013, at 5:27 PM

    As more details emerge from the bizarre kidnapping case in Cleveland, people are beginning to wonder how Ariel Castro could have kept women locked up in his house for a decade without anyone actually noticing that something strange was going on. Enter the neighbors, some of whom are telling the press that they did, in fact, see all sorts of weird behavior—and that they called the police, who did nothing about it. The police, however, are denying these reports, saying that the two visits made to the house in the decade were unrelated to any suspicious activities. Considering Castro’s frightening history of domestic violence and child abuse, it’s hard to imagine the police would just ignore it if the neighbors kept complaining about him doing things like dragging naked women around on leashes in his yard.

    So what’s going on? Are all these people lying? Are the cops? Or is
    this a case of lost records or unrecorded police calls? One possible
    explanation is that the neighbors are simply caught up in the excitement over a national story unfolding in their backyard, and they’re misremembering their pasts because of it. False memories, particularly regarding incredibly emotional situations, are easier to develop than many realize.

    …My guess is that Castro’s neighbors probably saw some weird stuff, but did what most of us tend to do in these circumstances, which is ignore it and figure it’s somebody else’s problem. Now, I’d wager they’re recalling those memories, but they’re unintentionally distorting them to make them more dramatic. Or they are misremembering because they wish to feel more proactive than they really were.

    • Ametia says:

      The 2520’s need to sit their ASSES down somewhere. Just GTFOH

      The folks in that neighborhood CALLED the PO PO; I have no doubt about this. The PO PO ignored the calls. And have prolly deleted or erased them by now. That’s why their asses need to be INVESTIGATED.

  14. What The Internet Fame Of Cleveland Hero Charles Ramsey Tells Us About Race, Trust, And Community via

    Over the past several days, we’ve heard a great deal, about the happy (if you can call the tend of ten years of torment straightforwardly happy) ending to a horrific triple—or maybe quadruple—kidnapping in Cleveland, and the man who brought it about. Charles Ramsey, who lived near the house in which Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight, and Gina DeJesus were held, raped, and tortured for a decade, became a hero when he responded to Berry’s calls for help, thinking he was intervening in a simple domestic violence incident. And he has become an internet celebrity thanks to an interview he gave about the case afterwards. The speed with which the latter status has eclipsed the former has been striking, and raised interesting and important questions about our willingness to turn people of color into memes rather than heroes.

    At NPR, Gene Demby points out that the ways in which men like Ramsey become memes, and the grounds on which they’re treated as if they’re likable, are reductive rather than respectful, cute rather than heroic—and when those images crumble, the credit we extend to them and the rewards that follow tend to disappear:

    But race and class seemed to be central to the celebrity of all these people. They were poor. They were black. Their hair was kind of a mess. And they were unashamed. That’s still weird and chuckle-worthy.

    On the face of it, the memes, the Auto-Tune remixes and the laughing seem purely celebratory. But what feels like celebration can also carry with it the undertone of condescension. Amid the hood backdrop — the gnarled teeth, the dirty white tee, the slang, the shout-out to McDonald’s — we miss the fact that Charles Ramsey is perfectly lucid and intelligent.

    • Ametia says:

      Ywp; folks are TRYING to “Sweet Brown” Mr. Ramsey. But he served the community, those girls, their families and he told the TRUTH. THAT CAN’T AND WILL NOT BE SWEPT UNDER THE RUG.

      • Dear Jake Tapper, no matter what you do to throw dirt on Charles Ramsey, you can NEVER take away his heroic actions. He rescued those young women!

  15. Charles Ramsey RESCUED those young women. All Cleveland Police did was come to arrest the kidnapper AFTER Charles Ramsey’s phone call.

  16. Here we go, y’all. The media just couldn’t take Charles Ramsey being the hero in rescuing those girls. They’ve dugged into his past and now the Smoking Gun has published his arrest record. They COULDNOT stand Charles Ramsey getting all that shine. Jackal SOB’s!

  17. BREAKING NEWS: Ariel Castro charged with kidnapping, rape in case involving three Ohio women.

    The Cleveland man charged with holding three women captive for a decade impregnated one of them five times and punched her in the stomach until she miscarried, police said Wednesday in a chilling report on the kidnappings.

    The man forced one of his captives, Michelle Knight, to deliver the baby of another captive, Ashley Berry, in a kiddie pool, and threatened to kill Knight if the baby died, police said.

    The Cleveland city prosecutor charged the man, Ariel Castro, with four counts of kidnapping — one for each of the three women and one for a baby that was born to Berry six years ago. Castro was also charged with three counts of rape.

    But authorities filed no charges against two of Castro’s brothers who were arrested Monday night, after Berry escaped the house with the help of neighbor. Authorities said they had no evidence that the two brothers, Pedro and Onil Castro, were involved.

  18. [wpvideo MWygx3Ng]

  19. We could stand to be more like Charles Ramsey

    Without question, Charles Ramsey is a character. The man who rescued Amanda Berry from captivity gave an epic television interview yesterday, in which he delivered one of the most brilliant lines ever uttered on national television. “Bro, I knew something was wrong when a little pretty white girl ran into a black man’s arms,” Ramsey said with a knowing nod and smile. “Something is wrong here. Dead giveaway.”

    In one comical comment, Ramsey said a lot about race in America. There was no need for an explanation because we all knew what he was talking about. We all knew what he meant. And, given the nefarious stereotypes of African American men, we all knew there to be more than a kernel of truth to it. Just listen to the knowing laughter around Ramsey in response to his remark.

    When I heard him say it, I roared with laughter at his brilliant response and gasped that he had the nerve to say it. Throughout his interviews, Ramsey, a dishwasher at a Cleveland restaurant, has shown a lot of nerve. But he has shown an equal amount of character.

    • liftingasweclimb says:

      Love this. I am appalled by the class condescension being shown by some African American bloggers. He’s been called ignorant, a coon. His hair’s a mess, etc. How will we progress if we will not embrace and celebrate our own? Scratch that. We have our answer.

      • Ametia says:

        Hi Liftingasweclimb. Total calss condescension and bigotry from Black & White. Mr. Ramsey’s getting the same treatment that Gabby Dougla, a 16 year old recieved after WINNING AN OLYMPIC GOLD MEDAL in GYMNASTICS! Historic, and what did tsome of he negroes say? Her hair was a mess. Just absolutely ignorant and disgusting!

  20. CarolMaeWY says:

    The Aunt of of Gina DeJesus, Sandra Ruiz gave a beautiful statement on TV. Only wish she would have thanked Charles Ramsey.

  21. Ametia says:

    911 operator: Lawdy! “Can you AX her…?”

  22. [wpvideo AiLPIvEu]

  23. CarolMaeWY says:

    What I think is important. . . Not my words.
    New Yorker
    What Charles Ramsey and Amanda Berry knew. . .
    During the call, the operator asks Ramsey if Berry needs an ambulance. He replies.
    “She need an ambulance, or what? She needs everything. She’s, uh, she’s is in a panic. I guess she’s been kidnapped, so you know, put yourself in her shoes.”

    But one phrase in particular, from the interview, is worth dwelling on: “I figured it was a domestic-violence dispute.” In many times and places, a line like that has been offered as an excuse for walking away, not for helping a woman break down your neighbor’s door. How many women have died as a result? They didn’t yesterday.

    For Berry and the others to be rescued, in other words, two things had to happen: she had to never forget who she was, and that who she was mattered; and Ramsey needed to not care who she might be at all—to think that all that mattered was that a woman was trapped behind a door that wouldn’t open, and to walk onto the porch.

  24. Plain and simple! The Cleveland Police dropped the ball on this. They didn’t take seriously at least one of the girls missing. I heard the mother of one of the girls stating police told her they would follow up with leads IF the girl committed a crime. WTFF? It was a poor multi-racial neigborhood and were unimportant to them.Then they have the freaking GALL to minimize the heroic actions of a black man who jumped into action to rescue the young women. It make me furious!

    • Ametia says:

      As the days go by, there will be MORE FILITH & FUCKERY about this crime. More folks involved too, and that’s why Charles isn’t trying to put on a cape and collect. THERE’S MUCH, MUCH MORE.

  25. Amanda Berry Sister makes a statement at NEWS CONFERENCE for her return home from captivity

  26. CarolMaeWY says:

    My comment will have to wit, my iPad is having fits. I would like to say something, but everything is getting erased. Hope I fix it so I can get feedback. Take care.

  27. Professor Leatherman is always on top of things…

    Why is the FBI involved in the Cleveland kidnapping case

    I write today to comment on the FBI’s involvement in the ongoing investigation in Cleveland into the kidnapping of three young women Amanda Berry, Gina de Jesus and Michelle Knight.

    Fortunately, all three are in good health, according to medical personnel. They have been interviewed by the FBI.

    Berry’s 6-year-old daughter, who was born during her captivity, was also freed and in good health.

    Three suspects have been arrested: Ariel Castro (52) and brothers Pedro Castro (54), and Onil Castro (50).

    The three women were held captive in Ariel Castro’s home. FBI agents have been searching Ariel Castro’s house for the past 24 hours. They recovered ropes and chains that were used to restrain the women at various times.

    No bodies have been found.

    The FBI appears to have taken over this investigation and they cannot do that unless there is a jurisdictional basis to do so.

    For example, in the Green River Killer investigation in the Seattle area, the FBI did not officially take over the investigation until the remains of two of the GRK’s victims, who were last seen in the Seattle area, were discovered in a suburb of Portland, OR. The jurisdictional basis was probable cause to believe that the GRK violated federal law by kidnapping the two women in the Seattle area and transporting them across the state line into Oregon.

    Mere kidnapping is not a federal offense and would not have provided a basis for federal criminal jurisdiction without the transportation across the state line into Oregon.

    Since the FBI could not have taken over the investigation of the three suspects in Cleveland, unless they have probable cause to believe that they violated federal laws relating to transporting kidnapping victims across state lines or sex trafficking, I am assuming this investigation involves interstate criminal activities that we do not yet know about.

    I contacted the FBI’s Media Coordinator in Cleveland, Special Agent Vicki Anderson, and asked her what is the jurisdictional basis for the FBI entering the case.

    She said she could not “comment at this time.”

    Look for an official announcement from the FBI in the relatively near future confirming that it has taken over the investigation and stating the jurisdictional basis for the decision.

  28. To Charles Ramsey! You made it happen. An American hero! You’re the MAN!

  29. Ametia says:


    • Don’t forget the Cleveland Police. They dropped the mofo ball on this. And then the GALL of them trying to dismiss Charles Ramsey’s heroic actions. GTFOOH!

    • CarolMaeWY says:

      Yes they were. Shouldn’t they have stayed on the line until police arrived? Does anyone know how long it took police to arrive?

  30. Ametia says:

    Amanda Berry, one of the three once-missing Cleveland women found Monday, will return home today, said Police Cmdr. Thomas McCartney.

    She will make a statement and CNN TV will carry the statement live.

    Amanda Berry, 27; Georgina “Gina” DeJesus, 23; and Michelle Knight, 32; and a 6-year-old daughter apparently born to Berry in captivity were found alive Monday in Cleveland, police said. The women are believed to have been abducted years ago — in 2002, 2003 and 2004 — and held captive at a Cleveland man’s home, according to police.

    • CarolMaeWY says:

      Thanks for announcement even though its probably already happened. Hopefully I can now look for video. Time zones make me late to everything.

  31. Lord Have Mercy!

    Ariel Castro Allegedly Kept Sexually Abused Kidnap Victims in ‘Ropes And Chains’

    The three kidnapped women who endured a decade inside a rundown Cleveland home were bound by ropes and chains and rarely let outside, according to Cleveland’s police chief.

    “We have confirmation that they were bound and there was chains and ropes in the home,” Police Chief Michael McGrath said this morning on the Today Show. He also said they were “very rarely” permitted in suspect Ariel Castro’s backyard.

    McGrath provided few other details about how long the women were restrained, saying “We’ll have a better feel for that question once the interviews with the victims is completed later today.”

  32. MichelleObama on Cleveland kidnap victims case: “A parent’s worst nightmare.”

  33. This mofo here…

    Ariel Castro, Suspect In Ohio Missing Women Case, Helped Search For Teen Victim

    CLEVELAND — In the years after his friend’s daughter vanished while walking home from school, Ariel Castro handed out fliers with the 14-year-old’s photo and performed music at a fundraiser held in her honor.

    When neighbors gathered for a candlelight vigil just a year ago to remember the girl, Castro was there too, comforting the girl’s mother.

    Castro, just like everyone else in the tight-knit, mostly Puerto Rican neighborhood, seemed shaken by the 2004 disappearance of Gina DeJesus and another teenager who went missing the year before.

    Now he and his brothers are in custody after a frantic 911 call led police to his run-down house, where authorities say DeJesus and two other women missing for about a decade were held captive.

  34. Thank you, Rikyrah! Who cares how he looks or speaks? Amanda Berry certainly didn’t. IF it wasn’t for him those women would still be held captive. His actions were heroic. Folks have it twisted on who a hero is suppose to be.

  35. rikyrah says:

    people wanna rag on how he looks..

    AS IF that diminishes WHAT HE DID.

    ask those 3 White girls if they give two shyts about how he looks.

    • Ametia says:

      How Charles LOOKS? WTF does that have to do with helping to rescue 3 girls who have been MISSING FOR A DECADE (10) Fucking years!

      Absolutely more RACIAL profiling and sterotyping about who is HERO, who can do good deeds, and who are the terrorist in America. No doubt if some poor white cracka boy who worked at McDonald’s had done the recusing, coverage would be nonstop, until he had a medal drapped around his neck. He’d have tv appearancces on EVERY CABLE STATION, BOOK DEALS, THE WORKS!

    • CarolMaeWY says:

      Who is making racial slurs? I want to protest or at least give them a call out. I do think we should overcome with positive praise for Charles Ramsey.

      • It’s our own people talking Ramsey down. Saying he’s an embarrassing to black people. I looked at a few video’s on youtube with these responses. That’s one of our problems as a people. Some get a little education or move from the hood and think they are better then the people they left behind. We all know brothers like this man. We also know they are the ones who are the who are usually the most sincerest. The man is real and McDonald’s and Red Bull need to make him a spokesmen for their products since he keeps gave them shot outs.

        • Ametia says:

          So true SHO. Negroes can be their own worst enemies. Charles Ramsey obviously wasn’t looking over his shoulders to see who would later PAT him on the back. As the days and months commence, those kidnappings and rapes are going to get UGLIER.

          • @silentlyheardonce

            You speak nothing but truth. Sad but so true.

          • Yes they are. We live in scarey times. All the camera’s and surveillance are going to stop the violence.

          • Ametia says:

            The Cleveland PO PO are a DECADE late; and incompetent as HELL. Now there are reports that they don’t have any 911 calls from that neighborhood, after a decade. So I guess the folks in that neck-o-the-woods are all LIARS now?

            Soemthing stinking in that Cleveland police department.

    • CarolMaeWY says:

      Charlie Peach @bretech2
      Tina Brown arrogantly & bigotedly said on Morning Joe that Charles Ramsey was a “Low Bar for a Hero”, since all he did was sit on his porch & make a phone call…it is this type of stereotyping & bigotry that led to those young women’s 10year ordeal because they were invisible, poor & not seen as important or fit the “BAR” for the police to do an adequate search for their rescues…even the 911 Operator showed his disdain to both Ramsey & Berry. In America the 1% & the right zip code seems to be the “BAR” that matters. We have to stand in support of all the Ramsey’s & Berry’s in the world who are seen as undesirable because of their look, dialect, zip code (station in life) & finally say enough. Kurtz was fired for his comments about Collins, surely Brown should be chastised by her peers for hers & if we can rally against the hate & bigotry of Rush then she should be spared no backlash for hers because she’s a woman, in fact that makes it even more egregious. In an era when we’re pushing for Women’s Rights this is NOT something we should accept from one. A friend tweeted today that he learned while serving in the Military: “People don’t pick HEROES, CIRCUMSTANCES do”. She would do well to remember that…

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