Not gonna lie; this young lady had me cringing when she offered testimony at Trayvon Martin’s case during the course of the cross examination. Her demeanor screamed stereotype: under-educated, inarticulate, attitudinal Black woman. The bewildered attorney probably had more Paula Deen-esque remarks in his head; but I digress.
You see, this appeared to be Rachel Jeantel’s first time in public; for real. Proclaiming she doesn’t watch the news (ouch) and thus was unaware of the events surrounding Trayvon Martin’s demise, she probably had no idea on what to do next. Yet, while cross examination was strategized to make her look like an unstable liar, Rachel used her current cultural navigation skills in a legal world in which one inadvertent slip up could change her life for ever. For all intents in purpose the 19 year old was scared to death; but not moved.
In fact Rachel is quite intelligent. She handle the cross examination, though crudely, skillfully. The attorney’s slick handed approach seemed to frustrate more than intimidate. For the most part, she duly detected his disdain for who she is and how she came to the table; transparent, and unabashedly real.
So suffice it to say I feel a little more at ease regarding Rachel Jeantel. I pray at some point someone will work with her to enhance her educational skill set and upgrade her social graces. Because once this case is over, whether Trayvon’s alleged murderer is convicted and/or not, Rachel will have to learn how to navigate a brand new world quickly and swiftly; or she’ll be eaten alive.
Big Ups, Sis!