Rachel Jeantel, Trayvon Martin's friend who was on the phone with the teen when the confrontation with George Zimmerman began, spoke out publicly Monday for the first time since testifying at trial to call the verdict "BS" and to explain the differences between N-word usage.
As a witness for the prosecution, Jeantel stirred up controversy on the stand with her dress, her speech, and her combative manner. She testified that Martin told her a "creepy a— cracker" was following him the night he was shot by Zimmerman, a neighborhood watchman in Sanford, Fla.
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Jeantel, 19, appeared on CNN's "Piers Morgan Live" Monday to say she was "disappointed, upset, angry, questioning, and mad" after a six-woman jury acquitted Zimmerman of manslaughter and second-degree murder Saturday.
The Trayvon Martin case captivated the nation and became a commentary on race relations in the U.S. Prosecutors argued Zimmerman, who is Hispanic, profiled and pursued the 17-year-old African-American.
"It was racial. Let's be honest, racial," Jeantel told Morgan. "If Trayvon was white and he had a hoodie on, would that happen?"
When asked if there was anything she wished she had said on the stand, Jeantel responded, "N—a." When the N-word ends in an "a," she said, it is being used to refer to a man of any race. But when it ends in "-er," it's being used as a racial slur.
On Tuesday, radio personality Tom Joyner offered Jeantel a full ride to any historically black college or university of her choice, Business Insider reported.
"If you want to graduate from high school, and go to an HBCU, even if it’s not in Florida but especially Florida, like Florida Memorial, Edward Waters or FAMU, if you want to do that, I want to help you do that," Joyner told Jeantel. "I will help you get tutors to get you out of high school, tutors to help you pass the SAT and I will give you a full ride scholarship to any HBCU you'd like."
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