“You do what you have to do,” Charles Ramsey said as he described saving the three girls. We should be more specific: he heard a girl scream… and checked. And when the girl said, “I’ve been trapped in here, he won’t let me out!” he– you should sit down for this– helped her.
Only in America can you be labeled a hero for doing the most basic human action, helping someone in need. Only in America can doing what you should be bludgeoned for not doing be considered heroism. One might wonder if labeling him a hero sets the bar for heroism a little low; or, said a more important way, if it sets the bar for non-heroic, commonplace behavior WAY low, underground low. “I heard screams, but, you know, The Good Wife was on.” I’m with you, it’s best not to get involved, that’s what Facebook’s for. #OWS
Of course— only in America will a hero rush to the nearest TV reporter to proudly explain that the most basic human action that he performed….. shouldn’t be considered heroism. “You just do what you have to do!” An inspiration to others.
And only in America will no one think this rush to TV humility is at all odd or classless. (“Did you just say classless on the internet!?”)
But two days later, he was outed as a convicted wife beater. Which is completely irrelevant to the basic human action that he performed, but of course…. only in America does the media run background checks on our heroes, lest our comparative self-esteem suffer, God forbid hypocrisy should go undetected. “Turns out he was a wife beater!” What a relief! Good thing you never sent him the donation you impulsively told your friends you’d send him.
I knew something was wrong when a little pretty white girl ran into a black man’s arms. Something is wrong here. Dead giveaway!
“He opened a space for honest dialogue on race.” Let’s not go crazy here, a pretty white girl will run to into the arms of Freddy Krueger if she just escaped from a decade long shoot of Hostel 3. No, what no one is willing to say is how great– how weird– how unexpected– is it that when a pretty white girl ran into the arms of a poor black man, he didn’t eat her! (“Seriously? Not at all??” That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you: he’s a hero.) We have different standards for heroism based on race/class/gender, but then again, we pay them all differently.
The truth is, what he did isn’t nearly as important to us as how he did it: funnily, on TV. That’s why he’s a true American Hero, not for what he did for the victim, but for what he did for us. If you don’t believe me, ask Angel Cordero.
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