Let's talk about the difference between "laugh at me" and "laugh with me."
In modern ironic hipster culture, where identity is consumption (even if it's consumption at a thrift store) and where "authenticity" is an impossible dream achieved only by consuming certain things with enough enthusiasm to not be considered a "poser," it's hard to understand people like Charles Ramsey, who rescued an abducted white woman in Cleveland. To a lot of people, it may be fun to share videos of Ramsey and smile at his way of expressing himself. To others, sharing those same videos is a way of ridiculing the man and diminishing his heroism.
In case you're one of the people doing that, here are a few things you should know.
1. Ramsey is more heroic than you. Remember that guy Sully who landed the plane? He was doing his job. Remember that NBA player that came out of the closet? He was trying to GET a job. This guy, Ramsey? He was on a day off from his job when he heard what he thought was a domestic disturbance and he did something most DON'T do, considering it very much NOT their job: he intervened.
2. Ramsey is probably worse off than you. That job he was off from? Dishwasher. Hard, smelly, low-paying work. The work of the working poor. And McDonald's, for all its faults, is what people who work as dishwashers can afford to eat. Disapprove? Fix poverty. Lectures and jokes only serve to further alienate you from the working poor people you often claim to give a shit about.
3. Ramsey is more authentic than you. See this guy? He's himself. Because he's not trying to appropriate a culture, or attain ironic distance, or impress anyone, he can actually be an expressive human being.
4. Ramsey is funnier than you. Because he's comfortable in his own skin, Ramsey, like the many great folk raconteurs of my childhood, and like so many people back home that I still know, is able to blur the line between "laugh at me" and "laugh with me." He doesn't feel the need to broadcast with a wink or air quotes when he's being funny. And, because he doesn't, you, oh smug sharer of unkind memes, don't even REALIZE when he's being funny. He doesn't have to deliver his comedy with a smirk or a sneer. He can mug, be expressive, and use slang without being wry about it. Your need to separate everything into "intentionally funny" and "unintentionally funny" is your problem, not is. And you're too smug to know that he's putting one over on you.
Mr. Ramsey acted quickly, compassionately, and bravely, and did it all with a sense of humor and a great deal of insight. As a result of his bravery, I can think of one guy who is DEFINITELY not laughing. He did more good with this act than many who are laughing at him will ever do in their entire lives.
And I'd rather eat McDonald's on Ramsey's porch than get Whole Foods with a lot of people who find him so laughable today.