Say Nia’s Name — and Stand Up to Racist Hate

“I want justice for my daughter. Please help me get justice for my daughter.”

That was the tearful message of Ansar Mohammed, the father of Nia Wilson, who was slashed to death by a racist killer in an Oakland public transit station.

“I work at Highland Hospital,” Mohammed said. “I see this every single day, but I never imagined myself going through nothing like this. That’s my baby girl up there,” he added, referring to the hospital room where a second daughter, Letifah Wilson, was recovering from injuries.

Eighteen-year-old Nia had her throat cut on her way home from a family gathering after a man — later arrested and identified as John Cowell — followed her and her two sisters off a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) train and into the MacArthur station in Oakland. Nia’s 26-year-old sister Letifah was severely injured, but survived what BART Police Chief Carlos Rojas called “an unprovoked, unwarranted, vicious attack.”

“We’re gonna get through this, I got you,” Letifah said she told her little sister as she lay dying in the MacArthur station.

Nia had just graduated Oakland High School. She wanted to be a “lawyer or do something in criminal justice,” according to her family.

Nia’s high school friends and other members of the Oakland community were in shock. But in addition to the grief, there was anger — at a brutal assault on three sisters and at the larger climate of racism and violence that most everyone believes contributed to it.

On July 23, more than 1,000 protesters took to the streets of Oakland to #SayHerName — repurposing the slogan used to draw attention to the Black female victims of racist police violence — and stand up to racist hate.

Whether or not Cowell is discovered to have definite ties to the right wing or white supremacists, his…

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