Nia Wilson, Mental Illness, and the Celebrities Who Cried Racism

Hollywood, the shining beacon of morality that it is, loves to preach to us about what we should say and do.

On Sunday, July 22nd at a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station in Oakland, CA, a grotesque murder took the life of 18 year-old Nia Wilson. The alleged murderer, John Cowell, also tried to kill her sister. Thankfully, she survived.

Cowell’s family released a heart-wrenching statement about their son and his life-long battle with mental illness. It reads, in part: “First and foremost, we want to let the Wilson Family know that our hearts go to them and are mourning, for your family. This horrific tragedy never should have happened. John has been suffering from mental illness most of his life. He has been in and out of jail and has not had the proper treatment…knowing that he was diagnosed with being bipolar and schizophrenia, the system has failed in this instance. We had to get a restraining order at one time as well for our own protection…He was living on the streets…”

But none of that seems to matter. For those who see the world only in white versus black, Nia was black and Cowell is white. Of course it’s racism! Of course it’s white supremacy!

Anne Hathaway, the paragon of wokeness in Hollywood (funny, has she ever starred in any films that deal with racism or the struggle of Black Americans?), has unleashed an Instagram scolding of white people: 

“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.

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”

No, Anne Hathaway. ALL black people DO NOT fear for their lives daily. Not sure what kind of marrow you have in your bones, but it’s making you delusional.

I’m black, and you definitely don’t speak for me. Nia Wilson’s murder was horrific. I can’t imagine her family’s trauma right now. 

So, don’t exploit it.

Cowell is a mentally ill man. So, please, Ms. Hathaway, stop this needless racial division & white privilege garbage. Nia’s family has suffered an unimaginable loss. You don’t know them. I don’t know them. But I know people in these tragic circumstances need prayers, not propaganda. They need justice, not faux white-guilt jargon.

Hollywood, a multi-billion dollar industry that profits from fake violence, gets (selectively) outraged when real violence happens. But not just any violence. Only that which is reported by mainstream media—alleged or actual crimes against black people.

Viola Davis, an actress that profits from a show about getting away with murder, asks when it will stop in real life against black people. Again, Cowell is bipolar and has schizophrenia. But let’s go with racism. 

Rose McGowan, a celebrity who has led the #MeToo movement, opined on Twitter: “Indoctrinated hate is a deadly weapon #NiaWilson #SayHerName.

Isn’t all homicide pretty much a form of hate? Does the color of the attacker lessen or heighten the heinousness of the crime?

And yet, not a word about mental health from any of these celebrities.

In this everybody-has-to-know-my-uninformed-opinion kind of social media universe, Nia Wilson gets reduced to a trending hashtag and any pertinent details get shoved aside to make room for the predictable and destructive race narrative.

I’ve been writing about this blaxploitation for years, since the tragic death of Trayvon Martin. Are there hashtag campaigns about white people being murdered?

Isn’t all murder is wrong?

Social Justice Warriors, too busy texting and tweeting to be bothered with any facts, are demanding justice like it’s fast food. What? I just ordered it two seconds ago, and it’s not here yet! All they have on the menu are assumptions and accusations with a dash of twisted information.

And that’s why violence like this happens—someone thought to be a member of an alleged white supremacist group, Proud Boys, was brutally beaten by a mob in Oakland. No amount of further violence will bring back Nia Wilson.

I hate racism, no matter the pigmentation of skin it comes from or the socioeconomic status of the perpetrator. We’re supposed to be a melting pot. Didn’t anyone pay attention to that Schoolhouse Rocks? Ok, so millennials, that was way before your time, but the principle is still the same. America cannot exist if we are not one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all. Many of us have said that pledge thousands of times, but do we act with compassion and moral clarity to ensure that this is our reality?

If our heart, as a society, is not for racial reconciliation, these race hucksters will succeed. Division, distrust and distortion is all they have to offer.

The Church of Hollywood has nothing to give. Christians, on the other hand, do. If the Church doesn’t raise its voice louder than the clamor and confusion of Tinseltown, MSM and SJWs, the only noise we will continue to hear is the lie that we are a racist nation.

Let’s not allow another tragic death to be exploited for political gain. What needs to be elevated are the Wilson and Cowell families—in prayer—as they journey through the pain of indescribable loss and the senselessness of violence toward the healing they all deserve.

Ryan Scott BombergerRyan Bomberger is the Chief Creative Officer and co-founder of The Radiance Foundation. He is happily married to his best friend, Bethany, who also happens to be the Executive Director of Radiance. They are adoptive parents with four awesome munchkins. Ryan is a creative agitator and international public speaker who just loves illuminating that every human life has purpose.

The views expressed in opinion articles are solely those of the author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by Black Community News.

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  1. Thank you, Ryan! BTW, whenever someone talks about a “hate crime,” I wonder, “Is there any such thing as a ‘love crime’?”

  2. Best yet. Thanks Ryan!