Some of us have already been frustrated by the beginning of the George Zimmerman trial for his murder of Trayvon Martin. The unknown outcome has the nation on pins and needles seeking a victory for whoever they support in the case, but mainly for justice for Trayvon’s death.
Many of us have become perturbed with the star witness Rachel Jenteal. Some believe she is losing the case for the state because of her demeanor toward Zimmerman’s attorney, Don West. It is apparent that Jenteal is frustrated by West’s examination of her and West used the communication barrier between himself and Jenteal as one way of attacking her credibility and intelligence. At one point, he even said, “Can you understand English?” He then tried to add the caveat that he knows that she is of Haitian descent to clean up his jab. But she, in her full understanding of English replied: ”I don’t understand you, I do understand English.”
But the barrier between Jeantel and this white man first, attorney second, has led to a divisive exchange between the two that is reflective of our divided country. The lack of understanding between minorities, specifically blacks, and the white population havehad a part in Trayvon Martin’s demise as well as many other young black men in this country. The image in George Zimmerman’s mind, based on what Trayvon wore that night combined with the color of his skin, was immediately that of a criminal.
The tone of Jenteal’s voice and her demeanor toward a less than honorable attorney is understandable. His techniques would bring out the worst in most witnesses–which is his job. He’s trying his best to discredit the state’s star witness; the last person to speak to Trayvon Martin. But those who feel that Jenteal is failing the Martin family fail to realize that they’re watching this teenager on the stand, snatched from her neighborhood and a microscope placed on her personal life giving her the undeniably fastidious task of simultaneously defending herself and her deceased friend.
In an article written by Rachel Samara for the Global Grind titled “What White People Don’t Understand About Rachel Jenteal” she makes a great point:
“But if the lawyers, and especially the jurors, were really listening, they would see that although she comes off aggressive, Rachel was consistent. Yes, the defense proved she had lied in the past, but she didn’t deny it. On the contrary. She was very honest about it, and even led us to sympathize with her reasoning for it – she did not want to see Trayvon’s body, she did not want to face Trayvon’s mother and she wanted to wipe her hands of the situation because of the emotion and trauma. She was the last person Trayvon spoke to and she wanted everyone to understand what that means. This is in no way easy for her.”
But Samara has to realize that it is not only White America watching and disconnecting with Jenteal’s demeanor. While there may be a kindred spirit between Black America and Jenteal, there are criticisms from that audience as well. It is our understanding of where she’s from and who she is that has caused our demeaning comments against her. That’s why it is wonderful to hear Trayvon’s parents through attorney Daryl Parks express their pride in Rachel Jenteal in front of the world.
Parks made a statement on behalf of the Martins saying:
“She is not a lawyer,” Martin family attorney Daryl Parks said outside the Seminole County Courthouse. “She is a young lady going into 12th grade, and she did her very best.”
“She sat there and answered every question, ‘Yes, sir’ ‘No, sir’ even ‘Yes sir, Mr. West” right? She maintained her context…This family is so proud of her.”
Listen to his statements in full below and let us know what you think. In our opinion, no matter what, she did her part to help her friend and his family.