Thursday, June 27, 2013

Runaway Witness

The nation has been captivated by the events of the George Zimmerman trial. From day one, it was a three-ring circus. From the profanity and knock-knock jokes in the opening statements and now the recent testimony of Trayvon Martin’s friend Rachel Jeanteal, this trial is in fast becoming a spectacle. The defense is trying their hardest to prove self-defense in Zimmerman’s shooting of an unarmed teenager. It seemed that they didn’t have a fighting chance that is until Jeanteal took the stand as a key witness. With friends like this who needs enemies? Whoever prepped this young woman should be fired. Jeanteal’s somewhat less than polished appearance was the least of her problems. While I’m sure testifying in a murder trial at the age of 19 is intimidating, someone should have made plain to her the severity of the circumstances she would be in.

Between her sassing of the defense attorney and the inconsistencies in her stories, Rachel Jeanteal has had most of America unanimously screeching “GET HER OFF THE STAND!” While no one expected her to like Don West, Zimmerman’s attorney, no one expected her to disrespect him either. Despite her insistence that no one spoke to her between today’s testimony and yesterday’s, it’s clear that someone gave her a little crash course. Thank God. It was however entertaining for me to watch every national media outlet do their best to not write her off as a stereotypical “Sapphire”. The only thing Jeanteal will seemingly be able to walk away with is her credibility because aside this, she has vehemently refused to let anyone think that Martin was the aggressor as opposed to the victim.
Unlike a good portion of the people who are following this trial, I am not so quick to read too deeply into the racial aspects of this case. Does it play a part? Absolutely.  Is it the most important part? Absolutely not. While many public voices are quick to dissect the life out of the more trivial aspects of this trial, we, the American public, must remember this; Trayvon Martin has a family as does George Zimmerman. At the end of the day, the lives of everyone connected to these two individuals are forever altered. Martin deserves justice just as much as Zimmerman deserves a fair trial.  We may be privy to what goes on in that courtroom, but that does not give us the right to glorify or condemn either party. What we should all take from this case is appreciation of our blessings. We are alive, we have our health, we have our loved ones with us. There are those in that courtroom who cannot say the same. 

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