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Very Real

Anne Hathaway Calls Out White Privilege In Wake Of Nia Wilson Killing

“White people do not have equivalence for this fear of violence,” the actress said on Instagram.

By Sharon Lynn Pruitt

Following the tragic killing of Nia Wilson, actress Anne Hathaway took to social media to show respect for Wilson’s memory and raise awareness of white privilege.

Sisters Nia Wilson, 18, and Letifah Wilson, 26, were both attacked and stabbed in their necks on a train platform in Oakland, California, on July 22 by a man later identified as 27-year-old John Lee Cowell.

Only Letifah survived. Cowell, who has an extensive criminal record, was later arrested and charged with first degree murder.

Wilson’s tragic slaying has sparked calls for justice, and on Wednesday, Hathaway joined the conversation.

The "Ocean's 8" and "The Devil Wears Prada" star used her Instagram platform—she has more than 12 million followers—not only to honor Wilson, but to put a spotlight on white privilege.

“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,” begins her lengthy caption. “She is not a hashtag; she was a black woman and she was murdered in cold blood by a white man.”

“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,” she continued. “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,” she finished, adding the hashtags “blacklivesmatter,” “antiracist,” “noexcuse,” “sayhername,” and “earntherighttosayhername.” She also added that the comments section of the post would be closed.

Hathaway’s impassioned post garnered more than 640,000 likes in less than 24 hours.

Other celebrities who have taken to social media to mourn Wilson include singer Kehlani, actress Viola Davis, and actress and musician Janelle Monae.

[Photo: Anne Hathaway attends the “Ocean’s 8” World Premiere at Alice Tully Hall on June 5, 2018 in New York City. By Theo Wargo/FilmMagic, via Getty Images]