Richard Prince's Journal-isms™

Colorful Cleveland Rescuer a Viral Sensation

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Monday, May 6, 2013

Interviews Produce "Internet Hero We've Been Waiting For"

It's Who's in Your Network: Joblessness Traced to "Racial Inequality Without Racism"

Howard Kurtz Grilled Over Mistake in Riveting TV

Latinos Become Largest Ethnic Group in Texas Schools

3 Services Honoring Neuharth Planned Next Week

NPR Reporters' Mellifluous Names Reflect a Diversity

Mario Machado, Chinese-American TV Reporter in L.A.

Nominate a J-Educator Who Has Helped Diversity

Short Takes

Cleveland rescuer Charles Ramsey told interviewers, "'Bro, I knew something was wrong when a little pretty white girl ran into a black man's arms." With Ramsey is Kevin Freeman of WJW-TV. (Video)

Interviews Produce "Internet Hero We've Been Waiting For"

"He likes to grill out, eat McDonald's and listen to salsa music. Charles Ramsey has also just become famous not only for his actions Monday in helping three Cleveland women escape from years of being held captive in a Cleveland house, but also for his interview he gave in detailing the events of the day," Mark Heim reported early Tuesday for, an affiliate of

An Australian columnist called Ramsey "America's newest hero." Lacey Mason of Washington's WTOP-AM said, "Charles Ramsey just might be the Internet hero we've been waiting for."

Ramsey actually was interviewed by more than one reporter, including John Kosich of WEWS-TV, the Cleveland ABC affiliate, and Kevin Freeman of WJW-TV, the Fox affiliate.

Heim offered this account: "Michelle Knight, 32, Amanda Berry, 27, and Gina DeJesus, 23, were found at a house in Cleveland Monday after going missing between 2002 and 2004.

"Three brothers were arrested, including 52-year-old Ariel Castro.

" 'I heard screaming,' Ramsey told Cleveland's ABC affiliate. 'I'm eating my McDonald's. I come outside. I see this girl going nuts, trying to get out of a house. So I go on the porch, and she says 'help me get out. I've been here a long time.' So you know, I figured it was a domestic dispute. So I opened the door, and we couldn't get in. ... So we kicked the bottom. And she comes out with a little girl and she says "call 911. My name is Amanda Berry." '

"Ramsey said he had no idea what was going on at his neighbor's house. 'My neighbor, you got some big testicles to pull this off, bro,' he said. 'Because we see this dude every day. Every day. I mean every day. I barbecue with this dude. We eat ribs and what not and listen to salsa music. You see where I'm coming from? Bro, not a clue that girl was in that house.'

"The reporter then asked him what the reaction was on the girls' faces. 'Bro, I knew something was wrong when a little pretty white girl ran into a black man's arms," Ramsey said. Something's wrong here. Dead giveaway. Dead giveaway. Dead giveaway. Either she's homeless or she's got problems. That's the only reason she run to a black man.' . . ."

It's Who's in Your Network

May 6, 2013

The CNN booth at the Unity '12 convention job fair in Las Vegas. 'The idea that there is a job 'market' based solely on skills, qualifications and merit is false,' Nancy DiTomaso   of Rutgers Business School says. (Credit: CNN)The c

Joblessness Traced to "Racial Inequality Without Racism"

"It's easy to believe the worst is over in the economic downturn," Nancy DiTomaso wrote Sunday for the Opinionator section of the New York Times website. "But for African-Americans, the pain continues — over 13 percent of black workers are unemployed, nearly twice the national average. And that's not a new development: regardless of the economy, job prospects for African-Americans have long been significantly worse than for the country as a whole.

The Economist makes its views known on affirmative action. (Credit: Jon Berkeley/the Economist)

"The most obvious explanation for this entrenched disparity is racial discrimination. But in my research I have found a somewhat different culprit: favoritism. Getting an inside edge by using help from family and friends is a powerful, hidden force driving inequality in the United States," continued DiTomaso, vice dean for faculty and research and a professor of management and global business at Rutgers Business School. She is the author of "The American Non-Dilemma: Racial Inequality Without Racism."

"Such favoritism has a strong racial component," DiTomaso wrote. Through such seemingly innocuous networking, white Americans tend to help other whites, because social resources are concentrated among whites. If African-Americans are not part of the same networks, they will have a harder time finding decent jobs.

"The mechanism that reproduces inequality, in other words, may be inclusion more than exclusion. And while exclusion or discrimination is illegal, inclusion or favoritism is not — meaning it can be more insidious and largely immune to legal challenges.

"Favoritism is almost universal in today’s job market. In interviews with hundreds of people on this topic, I found that all but a handful used the help of family and friends to find 70 percent of the jobs they held over their lifetimes; they all used personal networks and insider information if it was available to them.

"In this context of widespread networking, the idea that there is a job 'market' based solely on skills, qualifications and merit is false. . . ."

As DiTomaso offered relatively fresh thinking on the inequality issue, the Economist magazine went in the other direction. Last week, its cover featured the headline "Time to scrap affirmative action" and the image of a thumbs down.

Along with the familiar arguments against affirmative action, the cover story maintained that even the notion that the practice promotes diversity on campuses does not wash.

"The University of Texas (UT) justifies discriminating in favour of black people not on the ground that society owes it to them, but because, it claims, a diverse university offers a better education to all its students," the Economist asserted. "That is a reasonable argument — some companies benefit from understanding a variety of customers, for instance, and the police probably keep order better if enough of them share a culture with the neighbourhood they patrol — but it does not wash for most institutions. In UT's case, although colleges benefit from a diversity of ideas, to use skin colour as a proxy for this implies that all black people and all Chinese people view the world in a similar way. That suggests a bleak view of the human imagination. . . . "

Noliwe M. Rooks, writing in the Chronicle of Higher Education, suggested something else was afoot with such arguments.

"It's clear that at some point, our national debate over race and affirmative action shifted from a primary concern over when and how colleges might use the policies to help students overcome past and present economic, social, and cultural barriers to a belief that such policies should be used only if they don't keep middle-class white students from attending the college of their choice," she wrote. "In the process, we have ignored the fact that the fewer numbers of black, Latino, and Native American students there are on a college campus, the greater the likelihood that white students will racially harass them.

"Those were the findings of a June 2012 research brief issued by the University of California at Los Angeles's Higher Education Research Institute, which found that on campuses with the lowest diversity, racial harassment is a consistent and growing feature of college life. That should trouble us. . . ."

Media writers Dylan Byers of Politico, left, and David Folkenflik of NPR, center

Howard Kurtz Grilled Over Mistakes in Riveting TV

"Media critic Howard Kurtz used his CNN show on Sunday to point a finger at himself, apologizing for a story on gay basketball player Jason Collins that he said was riddled with errors and shouldn't have been written in the first place," David Bauder reported for the Associated Press.

Jason Collins with Oprah Winfrey in interview televised Sunday. (Credit: Chuck H"The extraordinary edition of CNN's 'Reliable Sources' contained not only his apology but also a session with two other media critics who sharply questioned his credibility. . . . "

Media writer Eric Deggans wrote in his Tampa Bay (Fla.) Times blog, "I can’t recall the last time a major journalism figure faced up to his mistakes in such a straightforward fashion — devoting the first 15 minutes of his show to a grilling by two other reporters. (The New York Post, by contrast, was resistant enough to expressing regret for errors in its Boston Marathon coverage that a prankster inserted a fake apology from its editor into some copies of the newspaper.)

"Here’s hoping this brings better reporting from Kurtz and more accountability from journalists in general, as we recognize any one of us has the potential to make a big mistake at the wrong time. . . ."

Meanwhile, Collins and his family members were interviewed by Oprah Winfrey for a 90-minute show on Winfrey's OWN network, and the Democratic National Committee announced Collins would headline its annual lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender gala, on May 29.

Chris Broussard of ESPN, who said April 29 on ESPN's "Outside The Lines" that homosexual acts, adultery and premarital sex were "walking in open rebellion to God," continued to be attacked for singling out homosexuality. Broussard has said he is not making further public comments.

Latinos Become Largest Ethnic Group in Texas Schools

In another indicator of the nation's changing demographics, the Dallas Morning News reported for Sunday's editions that "Hispanics have passed whites as the largest ethnic group in Texas schools, making up almost 51 percent of public school enrollment.

"The influx of Hispanic students, many from poor families, has brought about many changes in classrooms, with more expected as that population continues to grow," according to the story by Yvonne Marquez and Luke Winkie.

"Some schools already struggle with how to teach an increasing number of poor children who don’t speak English. Others are preparing for a day when their enrollment primarily is made up of low-income students, most of them Hispanic. . . . "

3 Services Honoring Neuharth Planned Next Week

Al Neuharth at the Crazy Horse Memorial in 1999. (Credit: Newseum)

The Newseum Monday announced two additional services celebrating the life of Al Neuharth, the USA Today founder who led the Gannett Co., the Freedom Forum and the Newseum before he died April 19 at 89.

All three services are to be streamed online. The first takes place Tuesday, May 14, at 5:30 p.m. EDT at Florida Today in Melbourne, Fla., the newspaper he founded as a precursor to USA Today.

The second is scheduled for Wednesday, May 15, at the Newseum in Washington at 5:30 p.m. EDT. As previously announced, the third is planned for 10 a.m. CDT May 17 at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion.

The Washington service is scheduled at the same time as a memorial for Lynne Duke, the former Washington Post reporter and editor, who is to be remembered at 6:30 p.m. May 15 at the Post building.

In the News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., on April 25, Publisher Orage Quarles III listed "three very important principles that I practice each day and share as often as possible with young people." He said he learned all of them from Neuharth: "Pay attention to detail," "Arrive early" and " Learn to listen."

NPR Reporters' Mellifluous Names Reflect a Diversity

Yuki Noguchi, Lakshmi Singh, Neda Ulaby, Sylvia Poggioli"What makes NPR reporters' names so particularly mellifluous? There's that pleasing alliteration — Allison Aubrey, Louisa Lim, Carl Kassell, Susan Stamberg," Deirdre Mask wrote Monday for the Atlantic.

"And it's hard to match those mouth-filling [double-barreled] names. Think Ofeibea Quist-Arcton, Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, Chana Joffe-Walt, Lourdes Garcia-Navarro, Dina Temple-Raston, Charlayne Hunter-Gault. According to one study, women in the arts and entertainment are more likely to keep their names; the authors hypothesized that their maiden names had already become 'akin to a "brand".' All the same, reporter 'Nell Boyce' lacks the snazzy ring of Nell Greenfieldboyce, her married name mash-up. . . ."

Mask continued, "Of course, NPR's seemingly exotic names reflect the sweep of NPR's international coverage and America's own diversity. Yuki Noguchi isn't an unusual name for a Japanese woman, and Doualy Xaykaothao might be a perfectly boring name for a Lao-Hmong-American. Neda Ulaby's first name means 'dew' and is fairly common in Syria. ('It's also the name of the heroine of an opera called Pagliacci who is literally killed by a clown,' she told me over email.) Lakshmi Singh's Carribbean father is probably the reason why she pronounces her name LAK-shmee and not LUK-shmee, as South Asian friends like to tell her it should be pronounced.

"Some names are just family names. You can blame Michele Norris's father for the heavy stress on her first name's first syllable; she honors him by insisting everyone pronounce the name the same way he did (MEE-shell). Cokie Roberts's full name is actually Mary Martha Corinne Morrison Claiborne Roberts. Cokie was just easier for her brother to pronounce.

"Korva Coleman's name is actually a twist on an elderly relative's name, Cora. But 'in some Slavic languages and possibly Hebrew,' Ms. Coleman explained in an email, 'my name apparently means "slut." ' . . ."

Mario Machado, Chinese-American TV Reporter in L.A.

Mario Machado

"Mario Machado was a familiar presence on Los Angeles TV and radio for a few decades starting in 1967, when he joined Channel 9 (then KHJ-TV) as the city's first Chinese-American TV news reporter," Kevin Roderick reported Sunday for LAObserved.

Machado died at his West Hills home Saturday of complications of pneumonia, his daughter said, according to Rebecca Trounson of the Los Angeles Times. He had been ill for some time with Parkinson's disease.

Roderick continued, "Machado had been born in Shanghai of Chinese and Portuguese heritage: his father was a vice-chancellor of the Portuguese consulate in Shanghai. From KHJ Machado moved quickly moved to 'The Big News' at Channel 2, the city's dominant evening news program with Jerry Dunphy as the anchor. He became the city's first designated consumer reporter. In the 1970s Machado hosted 'Noontime' on KNXT and began to handle a number of other news and interview shows, as well as radio. . . ."

Machado played Casey Wong in three RoboCop films in a parody of TV anchors and portrayed an interviewer in Rocky III (1982) and Scarface (1983), Mike Barnes wrote Monday for the Hollywood Reporter. Barnes wrote that Machado often played a journalist in films and on television.

Nominate a J-Educator Who Has Helped Diversity

The Association of Opinion Journalists, formerly the National Conference of Editorial Writers, annually grants a Barry Bingham Sr. Fellowship — actually an award — "in recognition of an educator's outstanding efforts to encourage minority students in the field of journalism." The educator should be at the college level.

Nominations, now being accepted for the 2013 award, should consist of a statement about why you believe your nominee is deserving.

The final selection will be made by the AOJ Foundation board and announced in time for the Oct. 13-15 convention in Newport, R.I., where the presentation will be made.

Since 2000, the recipient has been awarded an honorarium of $1,000 to be used to "further work in progress or begin a new project."

Past winners include James Hawkins, Florida A&M University (1990); Larry Kaggwa, Howard University (1992); Ben Holman, University of Maryland (1996); Linda Jones, Roosevelt University, Chicago (1998); Ramon Chavez, University of Colorado, Boulder (1999); Erna Smith, San Francisco State (2000); Joseph Selden, Penn State (2001); Cheryl Smith, Paul Quinn College (2002); Rose Richard, Marquette University (2003); Leara D. Rhodes, University of Georgia (2004); Denny McAuliffe, University of Montana (2005); Pearl Stewart, Black College Wire (2006); Valerie White, Florida A&M University (2007); Phillip Dixon, Howard University (2008); Bruce DePyssler, North Carolina Central University (2009); Sree Sreenivasan, Columbia University (2010); Yvonne Latty, New York University (2011); and Michelle Johnson, Boston University (2012).

Nominations may be emailed to Richard Prince, AOJ Diversity Committee chair, richardprince (at) The deadline is May 24.

Short Takes

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Richard Prince's Journal-isms originates from Washington and is published Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It began in print before most of us knew what the Internet was, and it would like to be referred to as a "column." For newcomers: The words in blue (on most computers) are links leading to more information. The Web site provides passwords and user names to some registration-only news sites, but use may be illegal in some states. Any views expressed in the column are those of the person or organization quoted and not those of any other entity.

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Jason Collins

It is nice that Jason Collins announced that he is gay. I wonder, however, if another NBA team will offer him a contract.

Cross-postings from the Root


Is obama going to call this hero and praise him for his brave action? Seems to me he called a queer basket ball player for coming out of the closet. If obama doesn't call Ramsey and praise him for his brave heoric action, I can only assume that obama doesn't know the difference between a real hero and a queer basketball player. Maybe obama not knowing what a real hero is explains why he did not send air cover to our brave Navy Seals in Benghazi as they were being murdered. I'm just sayin'.


This fine gentleman didn't seek the limelight. He took smart and courageous action when needed. We need more people like him. Let him be himself, for goodness sake. I too hope there is a reward.

Mister-D likes this.


He is my new personal hero


second time every happened I know of, over 20 years ago same thing happen a young boy was taken, he went up a black man and said he was kidnapped. it been long do not remember the boy name.


Charles Ramsey should be commended for his deeds. However, he went over the top by saying idiotic things and embarrassing himself with those disparaging remarks on national television and on a world stage. Let's hope that Mr. Ramsey uses this occasion to do better and not be viewed as a buffoon. Mr. Ramsey: go to the library, read and seek knowledge.



D Jones

Mr. Ramsey was himself......that self is what caused him to not "mind his business" like many more "appropriate looking and sounding" people did.

His positive actions speak volumes about who he is.


I agree D Jones


Yeah, I agree, he's just being himself. He can't stop himself from being viewed as a "buffoon", that's in the eye of the beholder. To me, he's just a real person, like the many we see every day. That's actually what makes it funny, because I've known people like that.

BigJohn and nbctjon like this.


Good for him!!! Wonderful ending!


I thank God this man was in the right place at the right time. He deserves all these props! I hope there was some reward money somewhere.

reesebaby, BigJohn and QuietThoughtsII like this.

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