Tragedy struck when Nia Wilson, a black teenager, was stabbed and killed in Oakland last week. The suspect, a white man named John Lee Cowell, was out on parole following a two-year prison sentence for second-degree robbery with a fake gun and a box cutter.
Wilson’s murder was the latest in three separate killings connected to the Bay Area Rapid Transit system. But it was not until Wilson’s death that the BART killings took on a national and hysterical character.
“White people—including me,” the actress Anne Hathaway wrote on Instagram, “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.”
Is that obsequious and self-abasing enough? Not for Hathway. “We must ask our (white) selves—how ‘decent’ are we really? Not in our intent, but in our actions? In our lack of action?” Leave it to Hollywood to serve as a beacon of moral authority.
A History of Mental Illness and a Long Rap Sheet
Cowell had been paroled not from a prison but rather from a psychiatric hospital. According to his family, he has suffered from mental illness most of his life.
Read the full story in American Greatness.