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Posted under: Race & Identity News

Instagram Removes Post Checking In On Black Women In Wake Of Nia Wilson's Slaying After It's Flagged As Hate Speech

After realizing the mistake, the social media platform reinstated the post.

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Writer Rachel Cargle wanted to create a safe space for black and brown women to vent and confide in one another in the wake of the tragic killing of 18-year-old Nia Wilson

But her Instagram post was considered hate speech by the community guidelines set by the social media platform.

"The space under the post (commented, replies) is exclusively for women of color," Cargle wrote. "Exclusively. No white women, no men."



The space under the post (commented, replies) is exclusively for women of color. Exclusively. No white women, no men. • Hey sis, Are you okay? As we see another one of us being murdered to bleed out in the streets we can’t help by think: that could be me, that could be my daughter, at sister, my best friend. For me a heavy cloud gets heavier when my feed shows over and over again how unprotected, how uncared for we as black women are. As we do double the work for less than half of the benefit it can be a breathless existence of both trying to keep up as well as trying to survive. You okay sis? I get it if your not. At this moment I feel heavy and distant and numb. I feel angry and deflated and heartbroken. • I needed to give us this space to check in on each other. To allow the black women who are part of this community to be reminded that this work is for us, our selves, our babies, our legacies, our livelihoods. • So tell me in the comments how you’re feeling. Comment on each other’s post with love and affirmation. Please know you have a sister thinking of you, rooting for you, seeing your worth and fighting for it. • #youoksis?

A post shared by Rachel Elizabeth Cargle (@rachel.cargle) on


According to HuffPost, Cargle's post was both removed and reinstated on Thursday, July 26, after the issue was reviewed. What may have triggered the removal was the post's statement that it was meant only for women of color. 


“Instagram has a heavy track record of taking down posts by people of color in order to maintain the comfort and satisfaction of their white community,” Cargle told HuffPost via email. “When black people report posts we get nowhere near the type of quick and efficient responses, in fact, we are often turned away saying that our concerns are not valid when we bring racist, problematic posts to their attention,” she added.

In the wake of the removal, Cargle made another post relaying her devastation to the post having been removed:

"I have yet to cry about all the aggression that has happened to me over the last 24 hours, but this ripped my heart to shreds, and I am in tears... There were hundreds of comments of black women being seen and heard by their peers, being loved and cared for by their sisters, being consoled and loved exactly as they needed it," she wrote in part.


I have yet to cry about all the aggression that has happened to me over the last 24 hours but this ripped my heart to shred and I am in tears. • Yesterday I created a post that was labeled as a safe space for black and brown women to come together to grieve and process what is happening. What Nias murder meant to us all. • There were hundreds of comments of black women being seen and heard by their peers, being loved and cared for by their sisters, being consoled and loved exactly as they needed it. • Someone reported the post as hate speech and instagram immediately took it down. • DO YOU SEE THIS? DO YOU SEE HOW NOT ONLY ARE WE KILLED IN THE STREETS WE ALSO ARE PUNISHED FOR GRIEVING. WE ARE NOT SEEN AS HUMAN, WE ARE NOT REGARDED AS BEING WHO LIVE AND BREATHE ANS FEEL AND ARE WORTHY OF EXISTENCE. WE ARE OPPRESSED, THEN WE ARE KILLED, THEN WE ARE SILENCED. 💔 • To my sister who came into that space with me to share and to hold each other I SAW you, you were HEARD and I’m sorry. Please know that I love you so very much. • I can’t stop crying.

A post shared by Rachel Elizabeth Cargle (@rachel.cargle) on


The shock of Wilson's murder sent shockwaves throughout social media. While returning from a family gathering Sunday, July 22, Wilson and her sister, Letifah, were stabbed at a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station in an unprovoked attack by John Lee Cowell.   

BART police apprehended Cowell Monday, July 23, at another station. Cowell has had a history of violence and criminal track record.

Cargle's post, which now has nearly 5,700 likes and dozens upon dozens of comments, pointed out how American society often forgets about the well-being of black women. When they speak up, society works overtime to silence them again. 

“It happens every day where black women use our voice to speak on injustice, to express our experiences, to voice our concerns, or even just to state how we feel,” she said in the email. “Time and time again, white women decide that they don’t like hear about or coming to terms with the ways they are harming black women and instead of step up on solidarity they silence us, resting in their supremacy.”
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Atlanta-based creative, dope photographer, journalist and lover of the wing ding.