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Anne Hathaway Calls out White Privilege

Natalie Mellor

Anne Hathaway calls out white privilege after posting a powerful Instagram post discussing the death of black teenager, Nia Wilson, in Oakland, California.

Nia Wilson was stabbed to death on Sunday July 22 2018. Wilson and her sister, Latifa, were changing trains when approached by John Lee Cowell, 27, who repeatedly stabbed Wilson in the neck and wounded Latifa.

As the attack was unprovoked, Anne Hathaway cites race as the motivation for the attack, stating, “She is not a hash tag; she was a black woman and she was murdered in cold blood by a white man.”

She then goes on to discuss the issue of white privilege: “White people DO NOT have equivalence for this fear of violence.” Although the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) police are unsure if the attack was racially motivated, Hathaway and Wilson’s family believe that it was.

Cowell had previously been convicted of assault and was on parole at the time of the murder. Cowell’s family released a statement saying that he has a history of mental health issues, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Wilson’s sister, Malika Harris, argued with this excuse, saying, “He wasn’t mentally ill,” and suggesting, “It is a hate crime.”

Hathaway urges her 12 million Instagram followers to check their privilege and “ask our (white)selves- how ‘decent’ are we really? Not in our intent, but in our actions? In our lack of action?”

Hathaway is not alone in the protests against Wilson’s death. Thousands have taken to Twitter to mourn the death of Wilson. The hashtag #Sayhername has been trending and several celebrities have used it to voice their opinions on Wilson’s death. Actress Viola Davis stated, “I’m getting tired of the heartbreak. Tired of needing to organize to convince people that our lives matter.”

Following her previous post, Hathaway posted another Instagram picture with the caption: “I am still heart sick over the murder of Nia Wilson and it feels wrong to post something else so soon… I want to hold the space for Nia for longer.” Fans have flocked to Twitter to show support for Anne Hathaway’s message, describing her as “an ally to BLM” and “a strong example of white solidarity.”

Following Nia Wilson’s death, 1,000 people showed up for a vigil in Oakland in her memory, chanting “Say her name”. The mayor of Oakland, Libby Schaaf, has also given her support to Nia: “The fact that his victims were both young African-American women stirs deep pain and palpable fear in all of us who acknowledge the reality that our country still suffers from a tragic and deeply racist history.”

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