The Curious Case of the Black Viral Star

It's valid to worry about the exploitation of Charles Ramsey and others. But they're far from victims.

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Ramsey undoubtedly knows the trajectory of the viral star. I'm sure that Ramsey, in between eating ribs and listening to salsa music with alleged kidnapper Ariel Castro, had time to click on a YouTube video or two. Whether he'd seen Sweet Brown's dental commercial or the one for Dodson's "Sex Offender Tracker" smartphone app, Ramsey, like the rest of us, probably knows a thing or two about the rewards (and price) of fame. None of that undercuts his heroism -- nor should it -- but it could explain the ensuing high jinks.

In a truly meta moment, Ramsey ended a recent interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper with a pointed wink. It could easily have been meant for the rest of us.

Helena Andrews is a contributing editor at The Root and author of Bitch Is the New Black, a memoir in essays. Follow her on Twitter.

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Helena Andrews is a contributing editor at The Root and author of Bitch Is the New Black, a memoir in essays. Follow her on Twitter.