After becoming the center of one of the year's most high-profile cases, Rachel Jeantel became both the target of stinging criticism and the beneficiary of praise and charitable giving.
No matter how Merriam-Webster and other dictionaries define the N-word -- I have never and will never be a n*gg*r -- although I am very proud to be a black person.
As I observed how Jeantel had been eviscerated on social media -- by blacks and whites -- because of her excruciating testimony and her appearance (she was ridiculed for resembling Gabourey Sidibe's character in Precious), Zora Neale Hurston's ruminations on race sprang to mind.
Trayvon Martin is a victim. But Rachel Jeantel is a victim as well. An almost illiterate 19-year-old who can barely verbalize what it is she witnessed, Jeantel must have known how easily her credibility would be publicly shattered. Her bravery in even taking the stand is stunning.
egardless of your opinion about George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin, we mustn't ignore the underlying conversation -- a heated, potent, and critical discussion about race and racism.
Our Justice system serves primarily white people, our legislative system primarily serves the people who corrupt and obstruct it. We the People lost sight of the values, strength and discipline that could have made our country great.
It's good to rally and march; coming together for a common cause can be mentally and emotionally healing. But right now, I do not want to be approached by anyone who does not look like me to discuss the verdict.