This is my personal opinion and does not reflect the opinion of Beyond Black & White writers or the blog owner.
You have probably all heard about Charles Ramsey, the Black man who saved three Hispanic women who had been kept captive by a Hispanic man for 10 years in Cleveland. You can catch up on the story HERE. Basically he heard one of the women screaming from a basement and he (and maybe a another man) broke in and saved the woman. They then called the police and the rest were saved. He is being hailed as a hero. What he did was very brave and heroic. I will not contest that and I’m sure the women are so grateful for him saving their lives. He should get a medal for what he did.
BUT, the focus of my post is not on the heroic act. It is on the way people are dismissing his history of abusing a Black woman and neglecting his children. According to The Smoking Gun, Ramsey was arrested THREE times for battering his wife and jailed for six months for the crime! Although he was arrested three times, who knows how many other times he was abusive but the police were not called. He has also neglected his kids by not paying child support.
What I find puzzling is how many people are upset and calling it racist that the media dug up his past and reported it. If you come into the public eye they ALWAYS look up your past! Why are they acting surprised and acting like this is racist, they do this to everyone? It’s very easy for them to find out about someone’s criminal past. But people are outraged because they feel there are few Black male heroes and they are bringing up a past that makes him look bad. Well in my opinion he is the only one to blame for his looking bad! He chose to batter his wife and neglect his kids! He made his bed and has to lie in it! Personally, I have no forgiveness for wife batterers, child abusers, rapists or murderers. The courts do not decide what I should forget and overlook, I DO! I don’t care if they “serve their arbitrarily length of time”. If someone does any of those heinous things they are marked FOR LIFE and I don’t care to deal with them.
Now, people are trying to spin this into some racist media conspiracy to bring down a Black male hero by publishing negative things to discredit him (e.g., this Clutch article called ‘Demonizing Charles Ramsey‘). But what they are reporting is THE TRUTH! They did not make up negative things or draw conclusions based on photos (e.g., like Trayvon Martin), this man committed the negative acts and admits to it! I want you to really think about this– Ramsey saved three Hispanic women in ONE act, he BATTERED his WIFE on at least THREE separate occasions (and was heard threatening to kill her), and he doesn’t pay child support. Is this a man people should look up to? Is this man a friend to Black women? Should Black women be rushing to defend the honor of a Black man who repeatedly BEAT another Black woman and left her to financially support their kids? I wonder if he would have tried to save a Black woman trapped in a basement? He did make it a point to remark that the woman he saved was a “pretty White woman”.
I’m sorry but in reading the comments on the linked sites (I know I should not have read the comments) but it made me cringe at how easily people dismissed the history of abuse like it was some minor traffic violation or failure to pay taxes. It was like they were patting themselves on the back for overlooking his “past mistakes and imperfections that everyone has”. So what if he beat his wife so bad that he served time for it? So what if he doesn’t pay for food, shelter, clothing, or anything else his kids need? He did a good thing so lets forget about it! Serving time erases all the psychological trauma and neglect suffered by his Black VICTIMS. It reminds me of all the men who have criminal histories or no ambition who expect women to want to date them just because they are employed. Your past matters!
This is the case of one woman abuser stopping another woman abuser. His past behaviour does not give any indication that he is someone to admire or a friend to Black women but people are acting like this one heroic act negates everything else. This is another case of the abuse of Black women and children being dismissed because a Black man is cool, famous, or sounds good (e.g., rappers with histories of gang banging, selling drugs, and being violent are excused because they have “changed”). Sorry but I am not that forgiving. I’m glad that the media has reported the truth about this man. He may be a friend to the Hispanic community and a hero for saving those women, but he is no friend to me as a Black woman.
Update: Al Sharpton stands behind Charles Ramsey…not surprised. Ladies, as long as a Black man “cleans up his act” and says he’s changed we are supposed to forget his prior abuse of Black women and pat them on the back.