As a woman, the first thing I think about is what kind of awful, horrible sexual things those women were subjected too.... let's face it: people don't kidnap woman because they want to sit up late night play Farkle and discussing their feelings.
Secondly, I was immediately grateful they were found - and instantly said a small prayer that Desiree Horman, Kyron Horman's Mother, might one day get a similar call... that he is still alive.
So coming home I started looking up all the youtube's and videos and stories about what had happened. Naturally everyone on facebook is talking about Charles Ramsey - the African American neighbor who saw Amanda Berry pleading for help and so he helped her get the bottom of the front door open enough for her and a small child (assumed to be hers) - out of the house.
Once you find his story, you find lots and lots of others - many neighbors telling stories of seeing women in "dog chains", naked and being beaten in the back yard (once by a young woman and a younger child and another time by three older ladies). It's stated that several neighbors *saw* these things, called the police and nothing ever happened......
One man keenly points out that the cops will break down the doors of a home for $5 of drugs - but not for a human life......
When I was a kid, living in Seattle, my Mom started the "Helping Hand" in our neighborhood. Her and some other Moms made large wood signs that were painted black with large red hand prints painted on them. Throughout the neighborhood, various houses who agreed, would put them up in their front windows. We were all taught that if *anyone* bothered us, or a car was suspicious that *these* homes - The Red Hand Homes - were "safe". We could go to them and they would open their doors, no questions asked and that they could be trusted to help us. (I'm sure there was a larger movement for these Red Hand things.... I doubt The Bubbie came up with it on her own... though- we all know how good she is at making signs. lol)
Anyhow... these days - would anyone really do that?
Aren't we all too afraid of being sued or something?
I only ask... because it doesn't seem like anyone is doing it - and since *more* kids go missing now than in the 80s.... wouldn't it be a good thing to bring back?
But... you know what - we won't.
We won't because not enough of us will step the f*ck up and be *willing* to take responsibility for someone else's child. We don't want to 'poke our nose in'. We don't want to get caught up in someone else's drama. We just want to keep walking......
Aside from that - I think that the saddest part of it all is the part that the media and facebook are heralding as the most amusing, which is Charles Ramsey's account of the rescue. His plain, step-by-step explanation - both humorous and humble - is getting him tons of air time. He's very amusing, has great timing and .... thankfully - was the kind of person to step up and help Amanda Berry instead of stay on his own porch.
What he say's at the *end* of this particular interview *is* super funny for sure.... but it also makes me incredibly sad. The idea that "white women" wouldn't run to a black man's arms unless they were "homeless or got problems' is a tragic one.
For one.... at some point, this man's personal experience has lead him to conclusion. Which, if you ask me, is heartbreaking. It reminds me of reading The Autobiography of Malcolm X where he recounts, in spite of getting good grades and being a solid and promising student - he's informed in the 8th grade that if was a really good negro that he *might* be lucky enough to become a Janitor - because, at the time - *that* was a good job for any African American.
This moment was crushing for Malcolm and was the first time he realized that there was a glass ceiling for him and he might never achieve more than what would be "allowed" - not what he could actually do or earn.
As the years have gone by - I hopefully believed that these sentiments were a thing of the past - I mean we *have* an African American for President... things *have* to be better - right?
I'll be honest, I didn't vote for Obama. I think most of them are giant lying bags of douche.... Sorry... but I do: on *both* sides of the aisle. However..... I have always been one to support democracy and as such, I have supported whoever the President is and chosen to work on making the changes I want to see in the world in my own home and community. It's silly to think *one* person so disconnected from the rest of us can *really* make change .... ever: if at all. That's a big machine they are pushing against.
However, Charles Ramsey appears to be around the same age/generation at President Obama - and is it curious to anyone else that one man thinks white women have to be homeless or with problems to run into a black mans' arms for help.... while the *other* man is an actual instrument of change for men and women of all colors in this country?
Raised, within the same borders - how can each of them see themselves and their own race so differently? Have we not advanced past this *just* a little?
Clearly... for some of us, the answer is no.... and that's not good enough for me.
It's a blessing that the countless ways and times those women tried to get someone - *anyone's* attention - failed and failed miserably..... and yet, one day - this man, homeless and eating his McDonalds - he see's them and doesn't hesitate to help.
He didn't see color - he saw someone who needed to get out of their house - and he helped.
Plain and simple.
I'm grateful that, to that end, my children are completely and totally: stupid.
They honestly think Whoopi Goldberg *is* God..... because I have let them. I have not disturbed their idea that *anyone* - be an African American woman with dread locks - can be God.
It's much more than a political statement - what my children have in them, is that everyone has value - and that they *should* be valued. Too many children are taught that black people or gay people or homeless people or whateverthehellthatthreatensyoursenseoff*ckingsecurity people - are "bad" and shouldn't be trusted - even in your time of need.
At that that's the message that society (or whoever) has left Charles Ramsey with about himself.
That makes me incredibly sad for him - and for the rest of us.
How many other 'Charles Ramsey's' in the world *haven't* stepped up simply because they didn't think anyone wanted them to - or would trust them?
We have to start trusting each other just a little more and teaching our children to trust as well. We have to *stop* teaching RACE or gender or sexuality.... and just start teaching GOODNESS, humanity and kindness.
I don't think Mr. Ramsey is remarkable because of how the media describes him over and over "homeless black man" - when I see him, I see a very down-home, no none-sense person who saw another human's fear and helped them. Plain and simple.
More than that - I hope that Mr. Ramsey see's himself as the hero he is. I noticed, in other stories, the Sheriff was quick to take away the "glory" and put out a statement saying that Amanda was "the real hero" here because she tried to get help.... oddly enough though- all three girls had tried before and all the police did was respond to calls from neighbors, knock on the door and walk away.....
It took Charles Ramsey to see her cries for help and to help her.... I'd say that's pretty heroic.
"I knew something was wrong when a little pretty white girl ran into a black man's arms.... Gurl - somethin' is wrong here..... .dead give away - dead give away.... DEAD give away - either she homeless or she gots problems -that's the only reason she's runnin' to a black man." - Charles Ramsey