Skip to comments.Trayvonís Friend Rachel Jeantel Prompts National Debate About Black Youth Culture
Posted on 06/28/2013 11:41:07 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
Jeantel and attorney West
After Rachel Jeantel left the witness stand following another six hours of grueling cross-examination by George Zimmermans lawyers, she immediately prompted a national debate about the language and attitudes of black youth culture and whether her testimony had helped or hurt the defendant.
Jeantel was billed as the prosecutions star witness because she was the last person to talk on the phone to Trayvon Martin right before he was killed by a gunshot from Zimmerman. Her testimony is crucial because she reported that Zimmerman aggressively followed 17-year-old through the subdivision until he had no choice but to confront Zimmerman.
But that key fact in her testimony has been somewhat lost in the raucous debate about the language used by the 19-year-old Jeantel, her disrespectful attitude toward the defense, her inarticulateness and seeming lack of intelligence.
It is a fascinating instance of black youth culture, with its language and attitudes, splashed across a national stage as it collides with the protocol of the criminal justice system.
The key question will be how the jury five white women and one Latinaviews Jeantels believability after her two days of testimony. Will they be influenced by her language and attitude to view her as not very likable, and then make the jump that she is not to be trusted and believed?
Will they see Martin as an unsavory and less sympathetic character because he referred to Zimmerman as a creepy-ass cracker, according to Jeantels testimony, and also a nigga?
Will they understand that the word cracker that Jeantel attributed to Martin is less a malicious slur draped in his ill will toward Zimmerman than a toothless slang word black teens use to describe white people just as they use the word nigga to describe everybody, including each other?
While many observers in the white and black communities are lambasting Jeantel for her lack of intelligence, more savvy trial-watchers will focus on the fact that she never wavered in her contention that Zimmerman was following Martin, which is the most important aspect of her testimony.
High-profile defense attorney Billy Martin told host Rev. Al Sharpton on MSNBC that despite all the noise about her language, the jury is going to look at facts that make her believable, key facts. The key word she was consistent on is, this creepy guy is following me. And the key elements here are not some of the slurs that may have been used. They may be offensive and the jury may not want to hear them, but on the key elements, was he following him, and did Trayvon Martin have a choice, I think the jurys going to be convinced that Zimmerman, based on her testimony, was in fact following him and Trayvon Martin had no choice but to try to run, and he could not.
Attorney Martin said that when he was a prosecutor in Washington, D.C., a lot of nasty and offensive language would have to be repeated aloud in court during trials, particularly involving homicides.
This is not unusual in a homicide case to have vulgar language and activity that people find uncomfortable, he said. I think a juror and juries look right through that and look at what are we really trying to determine. Theyre not trying to see if one was a good person or a bad person. There are facts here. And these facts will show who was the aggressor, who had the ability to flee and who had the gun I dont think these slurs are going to make a difference.
In fact, former federal prosecutor Kendall Coffey said the tactic by defense attorney Don West to try to emphasize Jeantels inability to understand English and her lack of intelligence she said she couldnt read a letter she had a friend write to the Martin family because it was written in cursive might ultimately backfire.
There were a couple of points where the defense was starting to be a little patronizing, Coffey said. That always backfires. I like the way she stood her ground on that. You saw throughout some of the questioning how she would correct some of the defense lawyers, not rudely but simply standing up for herself. So whether the jury found her sympathetic or not, I think there had to be sort of a grudging respect for this very young woman who was dealing with a situation she couldnt have imagined ever encountering, who by and large stuck true to her testimony and true to her beliefs.
The defense tried to damage Jeantels credibility by showing how her story changed over the past year, particularly how her testimony differed from the description she gave in the letter her friend wrote for her.
Why wasnt creepy-ass cracker in prior interviews? West asked.
Nobody asked me, replied Jeantel.
The letter, in which Martins name is spelled incorrectly, gives her blow-by-blow account of what happened, which she said was intended for Trayvons parents, not for public consumption.
He started walking then noticed someone was following him, read the letter. Then he decided to find a shortcut cause the man wouldnt follow him. Then he said the man didnt follow him again. Then he looked back and saw the man again. The man started getting closer. Then Trevon turned around and said Why are you following me!! Then I heard him fall. Then the phone hung up. I called back and got no response. In my mind I thought it was just a fight. Then I found out this tragic story. Thank you.
In her testimony, she described Martin calling Zimmerman a creepy-ass cracker, and said she warned him to walk away, saying it might be a rapist.
After Martin told her he was going to try to lose him and get to the home, the man who was following him reappeared, prompting the confrontation.
Jeantel has consistently said she heard Martin ask Zimmerman why he was following him. But in an earlier account, she said Zimmerman replied, What are you talking about? But on the stand she said Zimmerman replied, What are you doing around here?
Jeantel testified she heard Martins phone headset fall and then Martin say Get off!after which the phone went dead.
West asked Jeantel why she did not tell Martins family or their lawyer, Benjamin Crump, that the teen yelled Get off! Jeantel said, because Crump is not law enforcement.
West at one point tried to imply that Martin could have started a fight with Zimmerman but decided not to tell Jeantel about it.
Of course, you dont know if he (Martin) was telling the truth or not, West said to Jeantel.
Why he need to lie about that sir? replied Jeantel.
Maybe if he decided to assault George Zimmerman, he didnt want you to know about it? answered West.
Thats real retarded, sir, Jeantel said. When you dont know the person, why risk it? Trayvon didnt know him.
“creepy” means pervert and “ass-cracker” refers to homosexual sodomy.
Does that mean that if Trayvon had lived, he would not have been able to host a cooking show?
Or more likely, does that mean that if Trayvon had lived, he would have hosted a cooking show?
I can’t keep up with what is “in” with gay behavior anymore that I can with what the “correct” term is to refer to members of Trayvon’s race.
Hating Whitey but taking his money and blaming him for their self-inflicted pathologies.
Seems like the fact that she is a liar would do that. No jump required.
I still don’t believe that she is 19 — she looks more like 25 — and this is what “puppy love” looks and sounds like????.
She has a criminal lawyer who is a scheme teamer.
She says that she first met Trayvon when he came around her “area”.
Could that be an “area” as in a juvenile detention “area”.
This mumbler looks like she had had a lot of run ins with the police and knows her way around the system and spent a lot of time in the “area”.
Did she just open things up for her previous bad acts to come into play as they interact with Martin???
Great counter point!
Why? She's dirt simple to manipulate against liberalism's’ enemies and she's too damn stupid to know it.
It was Zimmerman who was returning to his car when he was cold cocked by St. Skittles.
why are they taking this piece of human debris and placing her on a pedestal?
IChing posted a youtube video of Trayvon’s mother mouthing the words “she lyin’” to her husband during Ra’Chel’s testimony. (applying proper ghetto spelling).
I posted this to another thread the other day. It is appropriate for this thread as well. What’s really scary about this is the number of people who are defending her as if this is perfectly normal. Unfortunately, they’re right.
“At the risk of being called a racist, Im going on a rant.
The surprise that some people seem to have after seeing this persons intelligence level surprises me. I live in an area of the country that is over 50% black. I believe there are people on this website from states like Vermont, upper New York, Montana, etc., who dont have a clue about what this culture really is like and what it is like living around them. I want to enlighten them.
This woman is not an exception; she is the rule. Where I live, you wont just see her at the drive through at McDonalds or as the cashier at Walmart. She will also be your pharmacy technician and your bank teller. Im not exaggerating.
There are Trayvons everywhere in my city. Some examples of the animals: an upcoming young engineer is shot in the head when he answers the door to some Trayvons, an elderly woman known as a philanthropist is beaten to death by a Trayvon who breaks into her house, just a couple of days ago a woman who sells candy and sodas out of her house was killed in a robbery by two Trayvons. Im sure they got enough money in the robbery to retire to some tropical island.
Am I saying that there arent white people who commit crimes? Of course not. But, just watching the local news will show a vast disparity in the races when it comes to crimes. How often do you see a pack of white people beating some one up for their tennis shoes?
So, anyone can call me a racist if they want. All I know is what I see.
It isn't just cursive. The woman can't read much of anything.
So?...It's been estimated that the U.S. spends more than $11,000/year/child and **this** is what the taxpayers get?
Those who oppose homeschooing and vouchers say that that government should set and oversee the standards homeschooling and voucher schools should achieve. Well!.....I have an idea!
Let's make the standards for homeschooling and voucher schools the same as the standards that apply to government schooling. If illiteracy and innumeracy is considered passing for the government, then that should be passing for home and voucher schools as well.
Lemme axe dis....
Does she get a pass for the “retard” comment because of her race, too?
No, they should conclude she is not to be trusted because she admitted on the stand that she has lied a number of times already.
If Trayvon had called 911 saying "there's some creepy-ass cracka following me", they would have told him that was the neighborhood watch guy, and nothing further would have happened.
But Trayvon decided to assault Zimmerman. Bad idea.
With all this publicity and her natural proclivity for absurdity, I think she has an excellent chance to be elected to Congress.
Thats real retarded, sir, Jeantel said.
GASP!! She used the R word. Can she be intolerant and ignorant if she is a person of color?
Particularly when you consider the "per capita" angle, it's pretty significant.
If one is on public assistance, he or she should lose voting rights for the duration.
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