People are conflicted over Anne Hathaway's post about 'white privilege'

People are conflicted over Anne Hathaway's post about 'white privilege'

Though it may seem to have only come to the fore over the past few years, racism has always been a subject of huge importance in the USA due to the country's volatile and violent history of behaviour towards non-white people. And now, what with social media making it so much easier for everyone to have their say on the issue, more and more folks are coming forward to discuss the incredible racial inequalities that still exist in the states.

Last week, for example, Anne Hathaway posted about white privilege to her 12.2million Instagram followers. The post in question was about Nia Wilson, a teenage girl who was stabbed to death on July 22nd this year. Wilson was black, her killer was a white man. There was no apparent motivation for his crime.

"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," Hathaway wrote alongside a picture of the teen. "She is not a hash tag; she was a black woman and she was murdered in cold blood by a white man."

The actress then went on to discuss white privilege (which, for the unfamiliar, is the notion that white people have an inherent advantage over people of colour in most aspects of life. This does not mean that white people cannot have difficult lives, but that their lives are not likely to be made difficult simply because they are white).

"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"

As well-intentioned as Hathaway's post may have been, however, her words caused some upset.

Most prominently, there were those who believed the actress was equating blackness with victimhood when she said "ALL black people fear for their lives DAILY".

Meanwhile, others believed that her post was an example of a classic "white savior" complex (whereby white people put themselves forward as the ones who can solve a huge, predominantly non-white problem).

At the same time, however, there was a huge number of people who appreciated Hathaway's candid take on the subject - especially as she has such a massive platform with whom to share it with.

What's more: this is not the first time that Hathway has spoken out about issues that do not necessarily affect her personally, thus proving that, yes, she certainly has white privilege - but she's using it for the benefit of those who don't.

As usual, then, there are many sides to this argument. While some may think the actress crossed a line by making such a sweeping statement about a huge demographic, others are grateful that she said anything at all. One thing we can be sure of, however, is that she said it with good intentions - and that's a good start, at least.