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Vox Sentences: #SayHerName: Nia Wilson

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The country mourns Nia Wilson through protest; in India, a dominant caste wants more.

Protesters gather as family and friends mourn Nia Wilson

Lorin Eleni Gill/AP
  • Nia Wilson, an 18-year-old black woman from Oakland, California, was killed in an “unprovoked, unwarranted, vicious” stabbing on a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) platform on Sunday. On Monday, police found and arrested suspect John Lee Cowell, a white, 27-year-old paroled felon. [AP / Lorin Eleni Gill and Olga R. Rodriguez]
  • Family and friends remember Wilson as a “positive” and “motivating” soul. [NYT / Matthew Haag]
  • Police are not sure if the stabbing was racially motivated or if Cowell had any connections to white supremacist groups. [BuzzFeed News / Michelle Broder Van Dyke]
  • Cowell’s family says he suffered from acute mental illness. [KRON 4]
  • The day-long delay in finding Cowell sparked backlash and protests across Oakland akin to Black Lives Matter rallies. [The Root / Anne Branigin]
  • While it’s unclear if the stabbing was racially motivated, there are certainly racial disparities in how long it took for them to arrest Cowell and how long it takes police to solve crimes committed against black people in general. [Vox / German Lopez]
  • Wilson’s murder has resonated with people across the country as #SayHerName (once again) goes viral. Celebrities and citizens alike are speaking out about the fear black people experience just from moving through life every day. [ABC News / Erica Y. King]
  • Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf also acknowledged that Wilson’s murder is jolting for most black people and “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.” [Washington Post / Allyson Chiu]
  • Wilson’s death has also raised questions around how the media portrays black people after a media outlet used an image of Wilson that looked like she was holding a gun (it was actually a cellphone case). [Refinery29 / Ashley Alese Edwards]
  • The number of hate crimes in the Bay Area increased sharply in 2017. In California as a whole, the rate of hate crimes increased by 17.3 percent, with anti-black hate crimes as the largest category. [East Bay Express / Darwin BondGraham]

Clashing castes in India

  • Clashes between the state and the Marathas group of castes have turned violent in Mumbai and across the Indian state of Maharashtra. Police have detained at least 450 people using tear gas and batons as protesters set fire to buses, block roads and railways, and use violent means to make their point. Two people have committed suicide. [Al Jazeera]
  • Protesters are demanding official quotas that ensure the Marathas get higher enrollment in educational institutions and receive more government jobs. They also want to be recognized under a government caste classification called the Other Backward Class (OBC). [Indian Express]
  • The Marathas make up 31 percent of the state, control almost 54 percent of educational institutions and 70 percent of co-ops, and own 70 percent of the state’s land. However, despite their mid-20th-century dominance, there now exists a dichotomy between the Maratha elites and masses. [Times of India]
  • The loss of Marathan dominance in Indian society has led to economic losses and distress as India’s job crisis worsens. 468 Maratha farmers have died by suicide since the beginning of 2018 as a result. [Asia Times / Kanchan Srivastava]


  • President Trump’s Hollywood star was destroyed for the second time on Wednesday. In an act of solidarity, the first man to destroy Trump’s star (and possibly ego) is bailing out the latest vandal. [NY Post / Joe Tacopino]
  • Mark Zuckerberg lost $16.8 million overnight as shares for Facebook dropped sharply in value. How horrible ... Alexa, play “Eat the Rich” by Aerosmith. [Time / Tom Metcalf]
  • It’s official: The final season of Game of Thrones will premiere on HBO sometime in the first half of 2019 (probably April). [Complex / Julia Pimentel]
  • Irish MMA fighter Conor McGregor was sentenced to just five days of community service after he was charged with assault, criminal mischief, and reckless endangerment for a “backstage rampage” at a UFC event. [BuzzFeed / Krystie Lee Yandoli]


“I’m a fanboy of Benedict Arnold — yes, that Benedict Arnold, the traitor who makes the folks in today’s Russia investigation look like they were playing tiddlywinks.” [W. Hodding Carter retraces the infamous Arnold’s battle steps on a 35-day boating journey to Quebec City / Outside Online]

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