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Anne Hathaway criticises white privilege in response to Nia Wilson’s death

‘We must ask our (white)selves – how “decent” are we really? Not in our intent, but in our actions? In our lack of action?’

Anne Hathaway has penned a lengthy social media post about white privilege in response to Nia Wilson’s tragic murder in Oakland on Sunday.

“The murder of Nia Wilson – may she rest in the power and peace she was denied here – is unspeakable,” she wrote. “She was a black woman and she was murdered in cold blood by a white man.”

Nia and Letifah Wilson were on the Bay Area Rapid Transit in Oakland, California, on Sunday (July 22), on their way home from meeting with family. The 18-year-old’s death has shocked many as police described it as an “unprovoked, unwarranted, vicious” stabbing on a train platform. Suspect John Lee was arrested on Monday.

Although police remain hesitant to conclude that this was a racially motivated attack, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said that although the attacker’s motivation is not yet known, “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”. Hathaway’s comments echoed this sentiment.

“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. We must ask our (white)selves – how “decent” are we really? Not in our intent, but in our actions? In our lack of action?”

Other celebrities have used their social media following to draw attention to the case. Earlier this week, Kehlani criticised authorities saying that the response to the murder had been to slow. “BART manages to catch riders who haven’t paid ticket fair (sic), young graffiti artists, you can catch a murderer. give her family some peace and get a murderous white supremacist off of oakland streets,” she tweeted.

Elsewhere, Janelle Monáe took to Instagram to publish a heartfelt tribute to the murdered teen. “Your life mattered #NiaWilson. Your name means something to us and we won’t stop saying it.”