The mother of Heather Heyer — the counterprotester who was slain in Charlottesville, Va., during a hate-filled white nationalist rally this month — and a descendant of Robert E. Lee came together on stage at the MTV Video Music Awards to denounce racism.
Susan Bro paid tribute to her daughter at Sunday’s ceremony by announcing a new foundation in her honor and commending her battle against hatred.
“I have been deeply moved to see people across the world, the whole world, find inspiration in her courage,” Bro said of her daughter. “Today, I am announcing the launch of the Heather Heyer foundation, a nonprofit organization that will provide scholarships to help more people join Heather’s fight against hatred.
“I want people to know that Heather never marched alone,” she continued. “She was always joined by people from every race and every background in this country.”
MTV Video Music Awards 2017: Full list of winners
Robert Lee IV — a descendent of the Confederate general in the Civil War whose statue led to the white nationalist protests — preached a similar message before introducing Bro on stage.
“It is my moral duty to speak out against racism, America’s original sin,” he said. “Today, I call on all of us, with privilege and power to answer God’s call to confront racism and white supremacy head-on. We can find inspiration in the black lives matter movement, the women who marched in the Women’s March in January, and, especially, Heather Heyer, who died fighting for her beliefs.”
White nationalists and neo-Nazis descended upon Charlottesville two weeks ago to protest the removal of a statue of Lee, leading to violence and chaos. Heyer was among the counterprotesters who showed up to oppose the march, and was killed when a white nationalist drove his car into a crowd of people.
Bro presented the award for Best Fight Against the System to each of the six nominees: The Hamilton Mixtape’s “Immigrants (We Get the Job Done),” Alessia Cara’s “Scars to your Beautiful,” Taboo’s song with Shailene Woodley “Stand Up / Stand N Rock #NoDAPL,” John Legend’s “Surefire,” Logic’s “Black Spiderman” and Big Sean’s “Light.”
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