Heather Heyer’s mother, Susan Bro has paid tribute to her daughter, who was tragically killed in the Charlottesville protests last weekend. “They tried to kill my child to shut her up,” she told more than 1,200 mourners gathered at a public memorial service last night. “Well, guess what? You just magnified her.”
Bro is undoubtedly right. Over the last few days, Heyer’s name has been in every newspaper, her smiling face has been on every news broadcast and ideals she died for – equality, fairness and social justice – have sparked an international conversation.
'I’d rather have my child, but, by golly, if I got to give her up, we’re gonna make it count.'
Heyer, 32, was killed on Saturday at a rally in Charlottesville organised by members of the alt-right, white nationalists and neo-Nazis to protest the removal of a Confederate statue of Robert E. Lee. Violence broke out between the white nationalists and the counter-protesters that reached fever pitch when a car – allegedly driven by James Alex Fields Jr – ran into a group of anti racist counter-protesters, killing Heyer and injuring 19 others.
Hundreds of mourners attended Heyer’s memorial service in Charlottesville, where Bro paid tribute to her daughter’s life: her fiery personality, her excellent negotiating skills, her firm belief that we should always talk about the things that make us uncomfortable. Bro also spoke about how to best honour her daughter’s memory. “Remember, in your heart, if you're not outraged, you're not paying attention,” she said. “And I want you to pay attention, find what's wrong, don't ignore it, don't look the other way. Make a point to look at it, and say to yourself, "What can I do to make a difference?"
Bro concluded her eulogy by encouraging people to continue Heyer’s mission and keep on resisting. “I’d rather have my child, but, by golly, if I got to give her up, we’re gonna make it count.”
If you want to make a contribution to a charity that is supporting the Charlottesville community, here are some places you can donate to:
The Black Student Alliance at the University of Virginia that provides information and support for Black students.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Albemarle-Charlottesville aims to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights.
Congregation Beth Israel is the only synagogue in Albemarle County. Send them a kind email and tell them you’d like to donate.
IMPACT Charlottesville is an interfaith organization working for social justice.
Legal Aid Justice Center provides legal assistance to low-income individuals and seeks equal justice for all who live in Virginia.