On Saturday, August 12th tragedy hit as we witnessed history repeat itself for the worst. White Nationalists, Neo-Nazis, Alt-Right members and KKK members marched through the streets of Charlottesville, VA until they met their match. Individuals gathered to look racism in the eye and stand against hate.
Violence struck and many individuals who stood up for what was right were severely injured and things got worse when a white supremacist drove a car into a group of counter-protestors. Heather Heyer was one of many who got hit by this vehicle and she was brutally murdered. If I could talk to her right now this is what I would say:
Thank you for standing up for what is right. We need more people in this country like you that aren’t afraid to fight against hate. We need more individuals who refuse to be silent and that will take a firm stance against what is wrong.
When I thought that this country was going backwards, you reminded me that progress has been made, but we still have work to do. When I thought that a race war might start, you reminded me that a vast majority of humanity believes in what is right and will go many lengths to fight against hate. You showed the nation the importance of being united and not divided.
On Saturday, August 12 you may have lost your life, but you did not lose the battle that you were fighting. You did not die in vain and your spirit will continue to live on throughout the nation. I did not know you, but your story touched me in many ways and you taught me and the rest of the country that it is important for us to stand up against racism and hatred in this country.
I know that your parents, family, and friends are mourning your death, but I know that they are proud of how remarkable of a woman you were. Although you may not physically be here anymore your bravery is contagious.
Your mother stated that this isn’t the end of your legacy and she is absolutely right. You have been magnified and you have an army of people that are ready and willing to continue fighting for justice as you did. You are the definition of how love trumps hate.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “the quality, not the longevity of one’s life is what is important”. The world was blessed with your presence for 32 short years, but in that time you made a mighty impact on the world. You made the ultimate sacrifice and laid down your life for a cause you believed in.
Thank you for being so courageous and calling out those who stand for hate. Thank you for believing in the union of people regardless of their race, gender, sexual orientation, and religion. Thank you for judging people for the content of their character and not the characteristics that are skin deep.
I appreciate your strength and determination to speak out against what is wrong in the world. You may not have had a lasso and a shield, but your courage made you a hero. You are and will forever be America’s Wonder Woman.
May you rest in peace and may God be with your family during this difficult time. I hope the memories and your legacy bring comfort to your loved ones.