Rachel Jeantel: Trial Testimony Draws Criticism


Many people have been very critical of the way Jeantel speaks — her subject-verb agreement, her Southern accent, her tendency to say “axe” instead of “ask.” Speech is a cultural marker often used to highlight one’s otherness. The problem with “improper speech” is not that people who speak in such tongues cannot be understood. It’s that they speak in a way that makes others uncomfortable; that it forces people to acknowledge and deal with an otherness that they may otherwise prefer to step around. It is an otherness that makes whites uncomfortable and, apparently, shames blacks to the point of publicly attacking Jeantel for who she is.

via Rachel Jeantel: Trial Testimony Draws Criticism.