Prosecution witness Rachel Jeantel, speaking to Piers Morgan on CNN last night, explained that George Zimmerman had misunderstood the beating he was receiving from Trayvon Martin, and so had the jury in his trial. Zimmerman was not facing a potentially life-threatening “bashing,” but simply a “whoop-ass.”
They don’t understand, they understand, “Oh, he would just bash, or was kill.” When somebody bash somebody, like, blood people, trust me, in the area I live, that’s not bashing. That’s just called “whoop-ass.” You just got your ass whooped. That’s what it is.
It was Zimmerman’s own fault for not understanding the cultural context in which he was being attacked.
Morgan tried to save Jeantel’s statement by asking her whether Martin would have “whooped ass” in self-defense. But the damage was done. For a split second, the camera caught a member of the audience reacting in shock, her jaw dropping at Jeantel’s admission–and her apparent expectation that Zimmerman should have understood the supposed cultural practice of “whoop-ass,” rather than acting to protect his own life.
I wrote to Tim Wise:
At your lectures you need to teach white people the difference between whoop-ass and bashing, so they don’t over-react in self defense and instead just take the whoop-ass they got coming. Zimmerman didn’t understand enough about black culture to know that Martin was just a whoop-ass him, not bash him to def.