"Stop hating": One year after the deadly #Charlottesville rally, Heather Heyer's mother reflects on the loss of her daughter, who was hit by a car, during what was supposed to be a peaceful protest. https://t.co/gEYZNcg01n pic.twitter.com/0fvJoZ7dKl
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) August 9, 2018
One year ago, a car rammed into counter-protesters during a violent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville. Activist Heather Heyer was killed.
Now, her mother is trying to fulfill a promise made at her funeral. https://t.co/NQvX9FEXz3
— NPR (@NPR) August 10, 2018
… “They tried to kill my child to shut her up,” Susan Bro told mourners last August. “Well, guess what? You just magnified her!”
Bro now spends her days in a cozy office at the law firm where her daughter worked as a paralegal. It’s the headquarters of the Heather Heyer Foundation. Near her desk is a sign with her daughter’s favorite motto — “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.”
“I think that’s what we have with Heather’s legacy, is a call to action,” says Bro…
Portraits of Heyer hang on the walls, and there’s a collection of posthumous civil rights awards. Bro resists the notion that her daughter is some sort of symbol. She didn’t make speeches, or lead rallies, Bro says, but tried to persuade those around her to care more about inequality and social justice issues. Bro has taken up her cause.
“Not only will I speak and speak loudly and often,” she says, “I’m going to make sure that other people speak.”
She compares it to a relay race.
“They knocked the baton out of her hand. Well, I picked it up and I’m not only running with that baton but I’m passing off little batons to as many people as I can,” says Bro…
She says the blame belongs to “all of us — for allowing the hate to build up in the first place.”
Now her focus is on stopping hate.
“I’ve had to acknowledge that her death had meaning to the world,” says Bro. “I refuse to give her up without making something out of it — not wasting that precious life.”
The events last year hit a nerve in the community, she says, exposing racial tensions.
“The black community and the people of color in Charlottesville have been battling this for many years,” says Bro. “But a white girl dies and suddenly everybody goes, ‘Oh my God we’ve got a problem.’ “…
Timothy Bella, at the Atlantic, “Every Day Is August 12 in Charlottesville”:
Corey Long remembers reaching quickly for the aerosol can thrown forcefully in his direction. A man carrying a Confederate flag was yelling, and moving uncomfortably close to him. He began spraying the can, and used a lighter to turn it into a improvised flamethrower.
“I was just pretty much trying to back them up, but they just kept coming,” he said. The moment was immortalized in a photograph, which quickly spread across the internet and the world.
Nearly one year later, Long is reflecting on the altercation as he’s preparing steak, asparagus, and salad for a recent Thursday dinner at his Virginia home. He is still healing. Cooking keeps him distracted while talking about the events that unexpectedly turned him into a symbol against white supremacy…
The United States has not been the same since August 12, 2017. That day, a “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville followed a night in which white nationalists stormed through the University of Virginia’s campus wielding tiki torches and chanting hateful slogans. The day’s ugliness remains horrific: the death of Heather Heyer; a car maliciously plowing into dozens of people protesting against white supremacy; DeAndre Harris getting brutally beaten seemingly within an inch of his life. What took place in Charlottesville was not just the bloodiest battle in the fight over the future of Confederate monuments in America, but also a historically disheartening day in the nation’s long struggle to overcome hatred and racism. And Charlottesville, even after almost every official in power during “Unite the Right” has resigned or retired, continues to process the fallout.
“Every day has been August 12 in some ways,” says longtime Charlottesville resident and local clergy leader Reverend Seth Wispelwey of United Church of Christ. “Things are still pretty raw.”…