I have to admit I was among the folks who cringed with Rachel Jeantel took the stand in the Trayvon Martin murder trail. She was a walking, talking stereotype–chip on her shoulder, absolutely no concept of social etiquette, poor grammar with the reading level of a third-grader. Bigots loved to hang their hat on Rachel, because she was so thoroughly carried the depiction of black folks that while thoroughly limiting and dysfunctional, is what America seems to be comfortable seeing.
But while so many cringed and clucked their tongues at Rachel (Lord knows I was one of them, I’ll admit), who really didn’t know any better and thus couldn’t do any better, some men rode to her rescue, one of which was Tom Joyner, who financed rigorous tutoring for her so she could graduate high school, and promised to finance a full four years to any historically black college she got accepted to.
No doubt Rachel will have a lot of catching up to do to survive the rigors of higher education, but you can’t deny the goodness of men who saw a girl who needed to be saved, and saved her. Her life has changed course, all because men with the power and finances to help her rode in on their white horses.
I have to give credit.
Thanks for standing up in defense of a powerless, young black girl.