That awesome Charles Ramsey interview, Songified

Burl brought this to my attention on a previous thread, and I thought I’d share more widely.

What a story. And what an amazing interview. That local TV guy really happened upon some gold.

Good job, Charles Ramsey! You deserve to be immortalized.

The original video, in case you haven’t seen it multiple times already, is below…

18 thoughts on “That awesome Charles Ramsey interview, Songified

  1. Doug Ross

    Slate has a piece expressing some concern about the trend of exploiting the news interviews of colorful black people.

    “It’s difficult to watch these videos and not sense that their popularity has something to do with a persistent, if unconscious, desire to see black people perform. Even before the genuinely heroic Ramsey came along, some viewers had expressed concern that the laughter directed at people like Sweet Brown plays into the most basic stereotyping of blacks as simple-minded ramblers living in the “ghetto,” socially out of step with the rest of educated America. Black or white, seeing Clark and Dodson merely as funny instances of random poor people talking nonsense is disrespectful at best. And shushing away the question of race seems like wishful thinking.”

  2. Brad Warthen Post author

    Yes, I can see how a lot of folks would react to it that way. And yeah, I suppose there are white throwbacks out there who only like this because they think, “Look at the funny colored guy!” (I use “colored” because, you know, these white guys are throwbacks. Just in case somebody wants to overanalyze that, too.)

    But here’s what I see — a real human being. Charles Ramsey is genuine, utterly unaffected. He’s a man who faced his moment and rose to it, and is fully in the moment of telling his story to the world, without reservation or inhibition.

    I admire him. I think we should all be more like him.

    This reminds me, more than anything, of a video I posted a couple of years back, which for some reason I can’t find now (the key words to search for elude me). It was a guy who had been in an incident in which a power line had fallen across a car. He told the story with tremendous gusto, with sound effects like “zam!” and “pow!”

    If I find it, I’ll link to it. Anyway, that guy was white. And he was just like this guy — fun to listen to, because he was so genuine and so totally into his story…

  3. Brad Warthen Post author

    There is a point, of course, at which I think a meme gets to be about just making fun of the unsophisticated black man.

    I fully believe the Alvin Greene story got that way, pretty quickly. I wrote about it at the time.

    That one, of course, was also about mocking the Democratic primary voters who had elevated him. But then, that, too, was about mocking unsophisticated black people, at its foundation.

    That didn’t make the situation any less ridiculous, but the situation offered plenty of cause for people with a social conscience to cringe at.

    1. Doug Ross

      What about the “whistles go whoo whoo” guy? Mr. Bubb Rub is comedy gold.

  4. Brad Warthen Post author

    OK, y’all are opening my eyes here.

    I was not really familiar with this disturbing genre. Perhaps it’s because I don’t watch TV news — in part because it largely consists of talking to people on the street who don’t know what’s going on, rather than just telling us what’s going on. And I suppose this is a subgenre of that.

    So I’m looking at the Charles Ramsey video in a bit of a vacuum. Of course, he doesn’t fit into the “man on the street” category that I hate — he’s a pivotal character in the story, the one guy who can tell us the most about what happened. And is happy to do so. I think he’s great…

    1. Steven Davis II

      Interesting, I posted that same link yesterday and Brad tossed it in the trash.

      What the hell is going on with this site today, all kinds of pop-up messages.

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