Last night, Rachel Jeantel, Trayvon Martin's friend and a key witness in the trial of his killer, George Zimmerman, talked to Piers Morgan in her first media appearance since her testimony in the trial.
Social-media commentary on Jeantel began nearly as soon as she began to testify. Crass assessments of her weight, looks, and intelligence from some white observers competed with a cocktail of vicarious shame, embarrassment, and disdain from some black ones. If the trial has become a referendum on racial attitudes, Jeantel’s testimony served as a reminder that none of us have the moral high ground. [...]
It was possible to look at Jeantel, who was on the phone with Martin when the conflict with Zimmerman began, as an earnest young person confused and traumatized by the near-witnessing of a friend’s death—or as a reluctant, irritable witness whose admitted untruths shatter any hope that her version of events could be believed. Or both.
On Morgan's show, Jeantel maintained her defense of her friend and spoke about mourning his death. Morgan then showed Jeantel tapes of anonymous jurors questioning her intelligence and education and asked her to react.