Charles Ramsey: From struggling dishwasher to overnight sensation

By Matter

By this point, everyone is most likely aware of the incredible rescue this week of three young women who were held captive for nearly a decade.  The rescue of these women has been the top news story for several days, and as new developments emerge, we will continue to hear more about this horrific story.  Interestingly enough, it seems that there has been a breakout star from this entire story, Charles Ramsey, who heroically kicked open a door to free the victims after hearing the screams of Amanda Berry, one of those held captive. 

Most people have seen the interview with Ramsey and a local Cleveland reporter, and his somewhat descriptive and honest responses to the reporter’s questions.   As a direct result of that interview Ramsey, a dishwasher at a local Cleveland restaurant, has become an instant internet star, taking some of the focus away from the victims, and turning the attention to his account of the situation.

And of course, as we all may have expected, the now famous interview has become the inevitable auto-tune.  Mashable posted the video, garnering more than 10K shares and it quickly became a trending topic on Twitter; Charles Ramsey is being approached to talk with, and being talked about, by everyone.  From participating in the media circuit including interviews with national press like Anderson Cooper, TMZ and Good Morning America, to major brands like McDonald’s tweeting about him upon hearing he was eating food from the chain when he heard Berry’s screams, this story became #1 news of the week.

The reaction to the interview is not surprising.  This isn’t the first time we have sensationalized a person’s interview with a reporter.  Does Sweet Brown ring a bell for anyone?  Well maybe her catch phrase, “Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That!” does.  Sweet Brown can thank social media for launching her YouTube stardom, resulting in some serious financial benefits, including appearances, interviews and even spokesperson opportunities.  Some people would say more power to her for embracing her fifteen minutes of fame, where others are concerned the media has selfishly contributed to the popularity of these videos and the troubling racial undertones of this amusement. 

For Ramsey, I think he faces some of the same challenges.  At the end of the day, Ramsey might be getting all of this online attention for pure entertainment, but he has also been getting quite a bit of “thank yous.”  Fundraising efforts are under way, including one online site that has already topped its $10,000 goal in just over a day.  All funds will go directly to Ramsey as a token of the community’s appreciation for his bravery. 

No matter what you think, you can’t deny the fact that Charles Ramsey is a hero.  No matter how he found them, and what his reactions were, he is responsible for saving the lives of three young women.  And if you haven’t seen the interview, I’d suggest you check it out.  If you have, what is your reaction?