Anne Hathaway Calls Out White Privilege In Emotional Post About Slain Teen Nia Wilson

Photo: Lorin Eleni Gill/AP Photo..
On Sunday, 18-year-old Nia Wilson, a Black woman, was reportedly stabbed to death by John Lee Cowell, a white man, while she and her sister were waiting at a Bay Area Rapid Transit train station in Oakland, California. According to BART police Chief Carlos Rojas at a press conference on Monday, the stabbing was "an unprovoked, unwarranted, vicious attack."
Wilson's tragic murder has sparked the resurgence of the hashtag #SayHerName, and many people are speaking out about the violence that indoctrinated hate can cause. Right now, there is no explicit evidence that Cowell stabbed Wilson or her sister Lahtifa, who survived the attack, due to their race. However, the fear of violence and discrimination due to one's race is very real, and something many Black people live with daily.
Ocean's 8 star Anne Hathaway pointed this out in an Instagram post on Wednesday. The actress reminded white people that they need to acknowledge the privilege that comes from living in their own skin, especially following acts of violence like the one committed against the Wilson sisters.
(For the record, white privilege does not mean that your life isn't hard if you are white, but that your race is not one of the things that makes it particularly challenging.)
"The murder of Nia Wilson- may she rest in the power and peace she was denied here- is unspeakable AND MUST NOT be met with silence. She is not a hash tag; she was a black woman and she was murdered in cold blood by a white man," Hathaway wrote in an Instagram caption, over a photo of Wilson.
Hathaway added:
"White people- including me, including you- must take into the marrow of our privileged bones the truth that ALL black people fear for their lives DAILY in America and have done so for GENERATIONS. White people DO NOT have equivalence for this fear of violence.
Given those givens, we must ask our (white)selves- how 'decent' are we really? Not in our intent, but in our actions? In our lack of action? Peace and prayers and JUSTICE for Nia and the Wilson family xx."
Hathaway isn't the only star to speak out about Wilson's murder. Viola Davis shared the same photo, with this caption that evokes the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
"You what point will it stop? I'm getting tired of the heartbreak. Tired of needing to organize rally's to convince people that our lives matter. To the killer...I will NOT say your name. To Nia...we will shout yours from the rooftops!!!"
"The thing that feels right to me is to keep uplifting your name and the kind & loving human being you were . You had a family that loved you . You were a sister , a daughter , and meant something important to your entire family and community . You had a future . As you were helping someone else you were murdered . Your life mattered #NiaWilson . Your name means something to us and we won’t stop saying it."
The tragedy of Wilson's murder extends past the crime itself — it's also in how some outlets choose to cover it. Not long after the crime took place, KTVU released a photo of Wilson holding what appeared to be a gun. (She was actually holding a gun-shaped phone case.) For too long, Black people have been seen as "less innocent" victims than their white peers by the media.
This is an example of the white privilege that Hathaway is speaking to. For all the Wilsons of the world, who deserve a shot at achieving their dreams, we need to do better.

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