Addressing the Brutal Murder of Nia Wilson
The Bay Area Chapter of the Association of Black Psychologists is shocked and appalled to hear of the senseless and brutal murder of 18-year-old Nia Wilson at the MacArthur BART station last week. As the birthplace of the Association of Black Psychologists, we see our mission and destiny as the liberation of the African mind, empowerment of the African character, and enlivenment and illumination of the African spirit — a tall order in this era of terror on black and brown lives.
News of Nia’s death has swept over the city of Oakland and the Bay Area as a whole. Sadly her murder is one in a long string of youth who have been taken from us all too soon at the hands of armed racists and bigots. Unfortunately, the legal authorities are adept at leaving our community with more questions than answers. Was this predator’s choice of victim random or was it a random choice of a black person? It would be nice, for once, to hear the media ask the right questions. This act was no more random than the BART police murder of Oscar Grant while handcuffed and lying face down! To be clear, it is our position that Nia’s murder was a crime of racial hatred supported by an intricate web of racists and racism throughout this system stretching all the way to the White House. Bipolar Disorder, schizophrenia, racism…they are all variants of mental illness. We need not mince words: the attacker’s violent actions occurred in a context of ideological and structural racism. It is up to US as a community to demand justice for Nia and fight to keep our communities safe from those who seek to disrupt our march towards peace and liberation.
–The Bay Area Chapter of the Association of Black Psychologists