On the HLN’s Jane Velez-Mitchell’s program, Frank Taaffe inferred that witness Rachel Jeantel, was “precious.” Rachel Jeantel is the daughter of Haitian and Dominican Republic parents. Born in Miami, Florida, she first met Trayvon Martin when she was in kindergarten. On her birthday of February 1, 2012, she and Trayvon renewed their friendship. Jeantel was on the phone with Trayvon on the evening of February 26, 2012, when he told her he was being watched, and then followed, by “a creepy ass cracker.” Jeantel testified in court that the phrase; “creepy ass cracker” means “pervert.” Logically, a man watching a teen from his truck, then following in his truck, appears to be a pervert.
Based on Jeantel’s and Trayvon Martin’s phone records, they were indeed talking during the time that George Zimmerman was on the phone with police dispatch, and also when Trayvon and George Zimmerman came into physical contact. That in fact, Jeantel’s phone call with Trayvon disconnected just seconds before witness, Jeanne Lauer, called 911 to report hearing screams.
Precious is a movie, released in 2009, about a New York City overweight, sexually and physically abused, illiterate teen, who enrolls in an alternative school in hope of taking her life in a new direction. Based on the novel “Push” by Sapphire, the movie is the celebration of life against the odds.
The movie won the AFI Award for movie of the year. It also won the Academy Awards’ Oscar for Best Performance by an actress in a supporting role (Mo’Nique) and Best Adapted Screenplay, (Geoffrey Fletcher).
The movie was nominated for Best Achievement in Directing, Best Achievement in Film Editing, and Best Motion Picture of the Year. Overall, the movie won 79 awards worldwide, and 49 nominations.
Gabourey Sidibe, who played the movie’s leading character, “Precious,” was nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role. Claireece “Precious” Jones, a taciturn, pregnant sixteen year-old, was Gabourey Sidibe’s first acting role on-screen.
For these accomplishments, Frank Taaffe, supporter of admitted killer and accused murderer George Zimmerman, apparently believes that Precious is a person who is supposed to be ashamed and denigrated. Frank Taaffe, in addition to other George Zimmerman supporters who have compared Jeantel to Precious, do not see that the movie’s main character represents metamorphosis through struggle – transformation within — from caterpillar to butterfly.
As a caterpillar, the verbal and physical abuse, and mocking lowered Precious’ self-esteem. She day dreamed of being loved and admired. Through the struggle, Precious raised her self-esteem, and acquired courage, hope, and determination. She also learned not to argue with ignorant people. She was no longer afraid to be herself or ashamed that she did not match the stereotype of what others believe is smart and beautiful. Effectively, in their comparison of Jeantel to Precious, Taaffe and other Zimmerman supporters call good, evil.
The movie’s Precious had much more to live for than just herself – two children, one which is a special needs child. In like manner, when Jeantel took the witness stand, she didn’t think of herself. Throughout this ordeal, she made it plain that she was concerned for Sybrina Fulton’s pain. On the witness stand, Jeantel wasn’t interested in competing to win a public speaking contest. She took the stand to testify of her last conversation with Trayvon. She laid the pain of her loss aside. Through cross-examination by defense attorney Don West, Jeantel flew above his condescending inferences, his interrogation as though he was a detective trying to get her to confess to committing a crime, and his hours of repeating the same questions.
Jeantel’s answers revealed just how far Don West is from reality. For instance, he drilled her on why she did not call the police. Jeantel’s answer was consistent; i.e., she did not know that the man who killed her friend had not been arrested. Logically, admitted killers are arrested.
Don West also demonstrated his ignorance of jurisdictions. How was Jeantel suppose to call 911 in Sanford, Florida, when she resides in Miami?
Frank Taaffe’s taking of good and using it for evil is — well — evil in itself. He fails to recognize that the movie character Precious does not represent shame. Rather, Precious is a character who in spite of not meeting Taaffe’s standards, overcomes against the odds.
Rachel Jeantel is hereby awarded the butterfly award.