I’ve watched clips of Rachel Jeantel on the stand. If you’re unfamiliar with who Jeantel is, she is a key witness in the Trayvon Martin trial. She was the last one to speak to Martin before he was gunned down. There has been a lot of hostility toward this woman. She was referred to as “Precious,” by Frank Taafe, a supporter of George Zimmerman, on national news. She has been criticized by Black and white media and blogs as being “low-class, ignorant.” There was an article on one popular “Black women Empowerment,” blog that held her up as an example of everything that Black women should not be…”don’t be a Rachel Jeantel,” the article said.
After hearing all of this, I was expecting for her to be yelling, cursing, banging on tables and acting completely like a fool on the stand. However, when I watched the clips of her speaking, she was nothing like the way people portrayed her. My main complaint was that at times she spoke too quietly…and I think they either needed to turn the microphone up or she should have been coached on how to PROJECT her voice so everyone in the court room could hear her clearly…but I thought she spoke in a manner that was easily understood, she was respectful, with a couple of exceptions. I thought she did fine.
She was very respectful when the prosecutor questioned her, but I noticed when the defense began to question her she did get somewhat defensive…she did say to him ” that’s retarded sir,” which was a poor word choice. But I never heard her curse the man out and even being defensive with him, she still referred to him as sir…which is a sign of respect. I think she was probably very hurt by the fact that the defense portrayed Martin as instigating the conflict and naturally, she would get defensive. It’s the job of the defense though, to push the buttons of the witness and try to get them to either crack and say something contradictory or catch them in a lie…that’s their job.
But, I didn’t think her testimony was completely outrageous. I also noticed people criticized her appearance, referring to her as Precious (btw Jeantel looks NOTHING like Sidibe) and attacking her weight, skin color and hair style. One Black women empowerment blog stated that she didn’t “look feminine,” whatever that means…
I think it’s completely ridiculous. People are just stereotyping and profiling HER the same way that Zimmerman stereotyped and profiled Martin.
I think that Rachel Jeantel is a beautiful woman. Yes, she is overweight, but I think her face is pretty, people just overlook her beauty because of her weight. I think she spoke well, with a couple of exceptions.
I am disappointed that people, especially those in the Black community, are treating this woman as if she were a criminal herself, as if SHE were the one who shot an unarmed person who was just trying to buy some skittles and ice tea.
Come on. Am I the only one who doesn’t see what the big hoopla is about this woman’s manner of speech?
Btw Rachel Jeantel is fluent in three languagues, which include English, Spanish and Haitian kreyol. Obviously, she’s not stupid.
Check Out Frank Taaffe Referring to Jeantel as Precious-