Is anyone surprised that Rachel Jeantel, a young woman who was called to testify in the George Zimmerman trial, was reluctant to appear? After watching the way she was treated by the defense lawyer, surely even more people believe that a court appearance leaves them vulnerable to harassment. Fewer and fewer will want to open themselves to such treatment.
What does the ability to read cursive writing have to do with the power of observation? Many schools no longer teach cursive writing and many young people cannot read it. Does the fact that we as a nation refuse to provide the kind of education that is wanted in a court of law mean that the students should suffer? If the ability to read and write cursive is necessary to be a credible witness then surely our schools should make that a requirement rather than abandoning it.
Are we going back to the days a hundred or more years ago when girls were not allowed to study Latin or Greek and then, as they grew up, were told they were unfit to vote or to govern because they could not read the classic texts? Talk about setting up impossible hurdles! It is our fault that we don’t provide the kind of education that students need.
Why is it that only women are judged on the shape of their figure or the style of their hair? Many a male politician is taken very seriously indeed even though his excess weight would cause a personal trainer to blanch.
Why do tweeters around the country feel they have the right to post cruel remarks about a witness in an important trial who is obviously suffering grief at the loss of a friend? Americans pride themselves on being kind and generous people, but at the moment many of us are demonstrating that we can be cruel bullies.
Rachel Jeantel deserves our respect for doing her civic duty in coming forth to testify. Let’s treat her with the dignity she deserves and apologize for the attacks she has received.