Larry Elder

Three young Cleveland girls missing and presumed dead turned up alive and in good health. A hero of the story is a neighbor, Charles Ramsey, a black man who helped free the girls from the home in which they were apparently imprisoned for some 10 years.

Among other things, Ramsey said: "I knew something was wrong when a little pretty white girl ran into a black man's arms. Something is wrong here. Dead giveaway. Dead giveaway. Dead giveaway. Either she homeless or she got problems. That's the only reason she run to a black man." Presumably the black man the "pretty white girl" ran up to was Ramsey himself.

But a check of The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Cleveland Plain Dealer shows that while the papers quoted Ramsey, none saw fit to include his observation that "a pretty white girl" running up to a black man means "something is wrong here." Looking uncomfortable, the television reporter, from local Channel 5, an ABC affiliate, promptly broke off the interview. No follow up, as in, "What, you've never seen a Shirley Temple movie?" (Kidding, just kidding.)

News sometimes makes reporters feel uncomfortable. So what? Ramsey's comments reflect how the Good Samaritan felt -- which makes it news. If Ramsey's other comments get reported, why not that one? Besides, Homeland Security tells us, "See something, say something," But when this particular citizen does, many in our establishment media do not want to tell us what he said?!

Question: Assume Ramsey were white and said: "I knew something was wrong when a little pretty white girl ran into my black neighbor's arms. Dead giveaway. Dead giveaway." Does the comment get removed, excised or cleaned up? Not likely, for a favorite media narrative is that racism remains a major problem in America. Put Ramsey's comment in a white man's mouth, and voila! In the soul of this otherwise Good Samaritan, we have "stereotyping," if not "bigotry" or "racism."

When athletes, for example, say "ain't" or use double negatives, sportswriters sometimes clean up the language, presumably to avoid making the players sound uneducated. That's one thing. But when you ignore comments like those of Ramsey, then media serve as a public relations bureau, not as a conveyor of "news."

In 1991, researchers for the National Race and Politics Survey asked both blacks and whites if they agreed with a series of politically incorrect statements about black people: "Blacks are aggressive or violent"; "Blacks are boastful"; "Blacks are complaining"; "Blacks are lazy"; and "Blacks are irresponsible."


Larry Elder

Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an "Elderado," visit www.LarryElder.com.