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The last post was the 21 things I KNOW at 42. At the end I said I'd consider writing 21 more things to make it 42 in total & then ...

Thursday

Grow up & Then Sit Down! My Thoughts on YOUR Treatment of Trayvon Martin's Key Witness

As all of you should know, the Trayvon Martin murder trial is under way & it is available for live viewing. I knew prior to the trial beginning that I had NO INTENTIONS of watching it. The last trial I watched was the OJ Simpson trial. I watched to see the outcome of that ridiculous televised car chase. I watched it out of a fascination that trials were even available on regular network stations. At the time, totally unable to determine whether OJ was guilty or innocent, I was simply curious as to whether it was even possible for a Black man to receive a fair trial. Any such occurrence, Black men tried fairly in a court of law, was like finding a unicorn grazing in a poppy field. History, past & recent, continues to make me question whether justice really is blind or a bitch pretending she can't see through a sheer blindfold. She seems to know when folks are Black & male, far more clearly than she knows whether folks did wrong or not.

Moving on.

So, here we are. The Trayvon Martin trial is taking place on television & online right now. Like I said before, I was VERY CLEAR that I was NOT going to watch the trial. That was then. Yesterday, Rachel Jeantel, the young lady who was on the phone with Trayvon when he was killed, took the stand as a key witness. She may be THE key witness, but as someone who was committed to NOT watching, I'm not entirely sure. What I am sure of, via Facebook News, the young lady is catching hell. It isn't enough that she was on the phone as her friend was being killed & it isn't enough that she has been hauled out of anonymity by & into a legal system she has no cause to trust. For some reason, you all think it's cute to treat her the same way she's being treated in this courtroom. According to YOU, she was not smart, sounded unintelligent, was belligerent, & was somehow embarrassing YOU. Some of you have even gone so far as to discuss her weight & how unattractive you find her.

With absolutely no idea who this young woman is, I felt very protective of her & disgusted by YOUR behavior. So, I've pulled up the live feed this morning. I am even more appalled by your behavior now. What I am seeing is a young woman who is frightened. She is in an environment that is intimidating to her. The white men in suits are not people that are to be trusted in her world. This process is not one to be trusted in my her world. These same suits are doing their very best to point out her Black, South Florida differences in dialect, attempting to equate it with her level of intelligence. Her version of English is being disregarded & instead of focusing on why she's there, she's being torn apart.

Something you may not know is what Rachel Jeantel looks like when she's NOT on the witness stand, being grilled about the MURDER of her best friend:




I'm veering now. I don't actually intend to go into any actual pieces of this case in this post. The focus is solely on WHO Rachel Jeantel is & the experience she is presently having. She's speaking low. She's often asked to repeat herself due to her volume, but mostly because of the way she speaks, the way she constructs her sentences. Her body language is guarded. Her face is timid, though potentially misunderstood due to the total lack of understanding of her body language. Even though she is greatly uncomfortable & tired of being brow beaten, when the white men in suits come at her too hard, asking legalese questions that she admits at times that she doesn't understand, she throws her words at them with a venom laced, "Sir." At times sounds of exasperation escape her mouth, as she is asked to repeat her responses over & over & over & over, to the point that even the judge has told the Defense that he's done enough & to move on.

One of my Facebook acquaintances posted:
I find it sad that people who can't differentiate between "your" and "you're" and use "women" in the singular tense in their Facebook posts have the nerve to ridicule how Rachel Jeantel spoke while testifying. Her testimony is probably the only thing standing between George Zimmerman beating a murder rap and people are calling her "Precious". Grow the fuck up, y'all.

& I wholeheartedly agree.

I've only been WATCHING this trial for about 20 minutes. It only took 2 minutes of it for my body to tense up. Shortly after that there was a throb in the back of my head. I feel hot & it ain't this June heat. My throat is tight. I feel antsy & like I don't have an outlet for these feelings. I am not directly connected to this case. I do not know Rachel Jeantel. I have never personally been anything more than a juror in a case involving a traffic accident. I am not being scrutinized in the courtroom or on television or live feeds. I am not the subject of tweets or status updates on Facebook. My best friend did not die on the phone with me. I am not being spoken to as though I have an IEP (special education). WITHOUT having Rachel Jeantel's direct experience I AM DISTRESSED. Rachel Jeantel is far more distressed than I am because she is living this experience currently & RELIVING that night & the subsequent days of investigation. I assume you don't know what distress means based on your virtual treatment of this young lady. She is being caused extreme sorrow, pain, and anxiety. Distress in this instance is both a noun & a verb, what she is feeling & what is being done to her. & YOU are contributing by attacking a 19-year old CHILD!

This is what Rachel Jeantel looks like distressed:


Perhaps you can relate to her if you took a moment to look at yourself in the mirror & remember when you weren't enough, weren't right, or chosen. Remember a time when you were frightened by an authority figure or didn't understand what was being asked of you or the expectations--stated or unstated--that you were supposed to meet. More than that, remember WHY Rachel Jeantel is even on the witness stand. If you are watching this trial because you couldn't afford tickets to Ringling Bros, Barnum & Bailey when they came to town or you weren't the right caller to win tickets to the UniverSoul Circus, then I implore you to find something else to do with your time & stop contributing to the problem. If you are watchdogging the trial to ensure justice is truly being done, stay focused on that & leave your weak personal views out of it. Your issues with self hatred are dragging on the ground & you need to tuck them in.

No matter why you're watching this trial, I need you to do 2 more things:
1. Imagine your own child or your 19-year old self was the last person on the phone with Trayvon Martin & now caught up in these proceedings.
2. Consider how far we have NOT come in this "free" society & remember that you too could wind up a chalk outline somewhere needing someone to tell your story & bring someone to justice on your behalf.

Both requests require you to think through the scenarios in silence. In other words....SHUT THE FUCK UP!!

Watch me move.

PS--as I prepare to shut down this feed because my blood pressure cannot take it, I MUST clap for Rachel Jeantel for standing up for herself against the prosecutor. GET 'EM GIRL & make them respect what you are in all of this.

5 comments:

  1. All I can say is Thank You.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This almost brought me on my knees in tears, Aisha. Please get a blowhorn & get on the corner. I'll stand with you. But they still won't hear you. And these blogs are publishing pictures of Trayvon's body for likes now. I'm just sick.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Defending her does not mean that she is infallible but the way some of US have criticized her is criminal. No matter what she IS present and that alone makes her awesome.

    ReplyDelete