WASHINGTON, June 30, 2013 – During the opening days of George Zimmerman’s trial, Zimmerman’s defense attorney Don West spent considerable time dehumanizing Trayvon Martin and Rachel Jeantel, the prosecutions start witness, as less than human.
George Zimmerman is on trial, charged with second degree murder for the shooting of Trayvon Martin. He has admitted to shooting Trayvon Martin. West’s job is to prove to the jury that George Zimmerman had the “right” to shoot Trayvon Martin.
That it is OK that George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin. That Trayvon Martin deserved to be shot by George Zimmerman.
Don West’s has been contrasting Zimmerman’s inherent humanity by painting a picture of Trayvon and Jeantel as hostile, angry racists that are not deserving of sympathy much less the life that George Zimmerman took.
That opening joke, which was not found funny by anyone, was simply a device to test the reaction of the jurors. To see if they, the jurors, are more like him than Trayvon Martin.
In a column by Communities columnist Jennifer Oliver O’Connell titled “Rachel Jeantel’s lack of literacy is a societal problem ” the writer correctly identifies how Jeantel’s lack of social graces could hinder the prosecution. She identifies Jeantel’s shortcomings in that she “fails to have a grasp of standard english, cannot read cursive writing, does not know how to speak up when spoken to, or how to address an officer of the court”
This is an opening that Don West used to his advantage in his quest to free his client. His portrayal of Trayvon as the aggressor is supported by nineteen-year-old Jeantel’s aggressiveness and disrespectful tone. For the are both teens, both black, so they must both be aggresive and disrespectful.
West has set up the ultimate us vs. them, rich gated community vs. lower class outsiders, white vs. black MMA throwdown.
Molly West, attorney Don West’s daughter understands exactly where her father is going with this divisive strategy and stated so publicly with her Instagram “selfie pic,” seemingly taken by Attorney Don West, featuring herself and her dad with an unidentified girl eating oversized cones over the text: “we beat stupidity celebration cones”.
It is hard to imagine a much less dignified show of social networking for an attorney to partake in. Almost makes Anthony Weiner look a little less creepy. Attorney West has denied knowledge of the posting of the picture to Instagram.
Going into the second week of trial and testimony, prosecutors will have to work hard to humanize Trayvon as a young man that deserved to live as much as Molly West deserves that ice cream cone.
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