Sunday, July 13, 2014

"Transformation" of Rachel Jeantel?

Ready for another media-manufactured “feel good” story? Rachel Jeantel—the “star” witness for the prosecution in the George Zimmerman trial, has just received her high school equivalency diploma. Quite an achievement for someone who was illiterate just over a year ago, even with an “army” of sympathetic tutors. Perhaps it speaks to the low standards of the “new school” social functionality requirements. ABC News thrills at the “transformation” at Jeantel, although one wonders if this “transformation” extends to her questionable character. We should revisit the question of how Jeantel became an object of sympathy—or rather should not have, since the media has sunk all of its meager “credibility” in doing so.

Jeantel was “combative” on the witness stand in the Zimmerman trial, and it should be clear why: Her inability to formulate a coherent narrative that wasn’t offensive and unbelievable to the jurors. When she was finally coached enough to provide that “narrative” to a sympathetic CNN audience under the direction of a sympathetic Piers Morgan, the media “interpretation” of its substance was clearly at odds with any objective analysis. 

Jeantel’s true role in the tragedy was shockingly ignored. She admitted that she told Trayvon Martin to “run, run, run” when first encountering Zimmerman. Why? Because he was probably “gay” and was likely to “rape” him—thus not only supplying a hard to fathom rationalization of homophobia, but a reason for Zimmerman to see “suspicious behavior” from a person he had never seen in the neighborhood until that day, after Martin had been kicked out of his mother’s house 200 miles away after his third school suspension.

There were, of course, many things that the media did not report about this case, such as rampant home burglaries in the formerly “family-friendly” neighborhood by “transient” young hoodlums in the previous year, and the fact the town police chief had called for neighborhoods to establish their own “watches.” Or the fact that the jewelry found in Martin’s possession in one his school “busts” was stolen from a home in the vicinity.

When she was asked about the “crazy-ass cracker” she stated that she used to describe the man confronting Martin, she avoided its “racist” connotation by claiming that it was a “new school” definition of “cops” and “cop wannabes”—thus contradicting the claim that Martin didn’t know that Zimmerman was likely on neighborhood patrol. If this is not true, we can only then assume that Jeantel is a liar. 

The truth of the matter is that hypocrisy is rampant in the Zimmerman case. If confronted by the situation as described by Zimmerman, is there anyone who wouldn’t say that if they had the means to defend themselves, they wouldn’t use it? In my mind, the real question is what happened leading up to the incident, and if Zimmerman acted in such a way that made the shooting inevitable. Even that is open to debate.

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