Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Charles Ramsey: Hero Not Fool

That headline is more deserving than the internet memes
being made with his image.
In traditional theater, no to mention psychology by the likes of Carl Jung, there are different archetypes including the hero, and the clown/fool/jester. In the theater of news it is no different with news organizations placing people into an archetype. But what happens when someone fits into more than one archetype? The emergence of Charles Ramsey, rescuer of the three Cleveland abductees, has not only me asking the question - when did Mr. Ramsey become the fool, not the hero?

He is rightfully getting coverage for being a hero, but the soundbites and memes (including being auto-tuned) more often than not seem to put him more in the role of fool -  someone to make us laugh. But are we laughing at or with him?

The man has been through a lot, and we don't know all of his background (though I am sure we will know more than we need to in upcoming days), he could have real and valid issues that make him appear as he does, it could just be shock, or a combination. In any case, don't we owe him the chance to get himself together and paint him in a better light if we are to honor him as the hero he is? Give him a day or two to have someone work with him on his presentation. I am not saying he shouldn't be himself, but he may be himself right now and we own him to get the opportunity to put his best foot forward. But no, in this day of instant news which often jumps the gun (like a certain network claiming a state for the wrong candidate) it is more important to scoop each other, be a few minutes or seconds faster to the story, the interview, than competitors than to be honest, respectful, and correct in reporting.

Remember, this man truly is a hero. He dropped what he was doing to respond to shouts of someone next door in an area where that might not be the safest move. He listened to a woman of a different race than him and believed her, then took the brave step of bursting into the house to get her out which led to the two others being rescued. This man freed three women that were held captive for ten years. Not only that, he even said he doesn't need or deserve a reward if there is one, that Amanda Berry should get it: “So yes, take that reward and give it to—that little girl” he said. And some mock him because he doesn't talk or act the same way they do.

Putting a spin on the old adage about sin: let he who has acted as bravely as Mr. Ramsey cast the first stone. Yeah, I thought so. Get off your computer and go do something instead of adding Helvetica sayings to pictures of Ramsey. Spend the same amount of effort to help people (or use your powers for good not evil) like using your graphics program to make a flyer for a non-profit. Heck, just go fill up that plastic bag you just got in the mail from the National Association of Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger drive and put a few cans of food or your boxed mac-n-cheese in there before May 11. Then maybe you have the right to drag Ramsey down, maybe. He still doesn't deserve it.

As we say here, Well-Met Mr. Ramsey. You are a hero in our books.