So what if she’s ratchet?

My daughter was furious. “Turn on the television,” she implored.  “The prosecution’s star witness in the George Zimmerman trial just blew the case.”

“She was so ratchet.”

For the uninitiated,  “ratchet” is a slang term used to describe someone who is out of control, ghetto or nasty.

By now, you’ve probably seen excerpts of 19-year-old Rachel Jeantel’s testimony on CNN or some other news show.  A few of the talking heads seemed to enjoy poking fun at her speech (one said they needed subtitles) and her salty attitude. In case you missed it, Jeantel was at times barely audible and at other times hostile when being questioned by Zimmerman’s attorney. When he told her she would need to come back again Thursday for more testimony, she was yelled, “What?”

There are plenty of televised trials these days. What you rarely see is the testimony of unpolished people in court proceedings that get little or no attention.

Jeantel was on the phone with Trayvon as he was being followed by Zimmerman.

“Get off!, Get off!” were her friend’s  last words before the line went dead, she told jurors.

Trayvon told her he was being followed by a “creepy a.. cracker,”  Jeantel said.  Before the phone went dead, she heard what sounded like a struggle in the wet grass.

She testified for two hours Wednesday; and to describe her as a reluctant witness would be a supreme understatement.  Making matters worse, the defense attorney revealed several inconsistencies in her statements. At one point, Trayvon’s father rolled his eyes and shook his head in disgust as she told jurors about her actions after the teenager was killed. When asked why she didn’t come to Trayvon’s funeral, she said she didn’t like seeing dead bodies.

My daughters are convinced she did Trayvon’s family and prosecutors no favors with her testimony.

I’m not so sure I agree. She came across as a confused teenager in need of a major attitude adjustment.  But her statements were in line with those of other people who heard parts of what happened the night of the killing.

At the end of her testimony, jurors will have to assess her believability, not her “ratchet-ness.”  According to my daughters, the two are one in the same.

Ironic, since defense attorneys — in their efforts to convince jurors that Zimmerman acted in self defense — are trying to depict Trayvon in the same manner.


4 thoughts on “So what if she’s ratchet?

  1. I have to agree with your daughters’ assessment. Unfortunately this young lady and her behavior/attitude will be a reflection of Trayvon and an indictment on his character. While I watched yesterday on CNN one of the analysts even said, ” what her testimony does more than anything is bring into question Trayvon Martin’s character which is sad because he is not here to defend himself”.

    I think that’s where she did the most harm because now some jurors may have only “seen” him as a typical teenager might see him in a different light based on what Jeantel is showing them on the stand. “Birds of a feather” mentality comes into play.

    But I blame the prosecution team who knew what they were working with and shame on them for not preparing her and giving her some direction on how to behave when giving testimony. In my eyes they dropped the ball.

    It has definitely been hard to watch.

    • Really good food for thought Chris. I don’t think she may have done as much harm as folks think. I think it will be Zimmerman’s conflicting stories that give the jurors pause in the end.

  2. I too , saw a large part of the testimony but was more disturbed by subsequent comments on fb , radio and know it all’s on tv. I can only imagine how this young lady felt listening to her friend on the phone breathing heavily while trying to elude a stranger that’s following him at every turn and winds up killing him while she listens helplessly . Compound that feeling with , lawyers, friends ,relatives, civil rights activist ,police and curiosity seekers , for lack of a better term,’blowing her phone up’ for over a year, asking questions and yes, placing guilt and giving directions on what to say and how to say it, being recorded and video taped . She appeared defensive and irritated , maybe because she is still protective of her friend and is disturbed by the implications of defense council. For some reason , a lot of African Americans seem embarrassed by Rachel Jeantel but Rachel is reality ,Rachel is the one that would NOT be big news if she went missing or was found dead , for the same reasons that people cringe when she speaks , the same way people cringed when the gentleman spoke after freeing those women from a 10 year bondage ,repeated rapes and forced miscarriages in Cleveland , people were much more concerned about his teeth and outward appearance, than his heroic deed ( of course , he was offered free hamburgers). If this case is lost, it won’t be because of this young lady it will be ,because the jury felt that it is ok to suspect a Black man of being , as George Zimmerman said, “Up to no good”, hunt him down for no good reason , and kill him, then when you find out you were mistaken ….oh well , he should have identified himself , or should not have been Black and Rachel should have been pretty and meek……….my two cents. Thanks for this forum

    • I really felt for her. She is young and clearly has some emotional issues. I didn’t get to see all of the testimony but like you, she heard a terrible thing that i’m sure continues to haunt her to this day. She is reality and as you say she would not be big news if she went missing or was found dead. Man, we live in crazy world. I think middle class Americans have no clue what it’s like to live in their world and so when they do come in contact with it, it’s funny somehow.

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