Scott Olson/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Heather Heyer's Mom Responds To Her Death In Charlottesville, & Her Message Is A Must-Read

Ad failed to load

On Saturday, 32-year-old Heather Heyer was killed in Charlottesville, Virginia, after a 20-year-old alleged white nationalist protester plowed his speeding car into a group of people who had gathered in counter protest against a planned "Unite The Right" rally. News of Heyer's death quickly led to widespread outrage across the country, and now, those who knew and loved her are speaking out about her legacy. On Sunday, Heather Heyer's mom responded to her death in Charlottesville, and although her heartbreak must be overwhelming, her words focused instead on the need to rise up and fight back against hatred and bigotry.

In an interview with The Huffington Post, Susan Bro said that her daughter had attended the counter protest in Charlottesville because she felt strongly  “about bringing an end to injustice,” and added, “Heather was not about hate, Heather was about stopping hatred." The fact that Heyer was killed as a result of the very hatred she was trying to push back against is beyond infuriating, but Bro said that it's not enough to simply be angry about what happened. She told The Huffington Post,

Ad failed to load

In the wake of Heyer's death, details of the Virginia paralegal's life and her attempts to fight for social justice have emerged, and many have taken to social media to praise the fact that she took a stand against the protest, even though it ultimately cost her her life. But Bro said that, to her, Heyer's decision to attend the counter protest wasn't even slightly surprising, and that her daughter "always had a very strong sense of right and wrong," even as a young child. And while it might be easy to get stuck feeling angry or helpless about the fact that so many people could actually feel emboldened to proudly attend a white nationalist rally in 2017, Bro said that, more than anything, she felt proud of her daughter's peaceful protest, and argued that her death should ultimately be viewed as "a focal point for change."

That sense of pride was echoed by Heyer's childhood friend, Felicia Correa, who told The Washington Post that, even as a young girl, Heyer would stand up for other students who were being picked on, and that that aspect of her personality never changed. Of her death, Correa said,

Ad failed to load

Heyer's death has led to an outpouring of public support, and in a tweet, Sunday afternoon, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe praised Heyer for "standing up against hate [and] bigotry." Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer also spoke out about the incident, and in an interview on NBC's Meet The Press Sunday, he emphasized that Heyer's death was a "terrorist attack with a car used as a weapon," according to NBC News. In a Monday morning appearance on Good Morning America, Attorney General Jeff Sessions agreed that Heyer's death "does meet the definition of domestic terrorism in our statute," and said that the Department of Justice "will charge and advance the investigation towards the most serious charges that can be brought" over what he called "unequivocally an unacceptable evil attack," according to ABC News.

Ad failed to load

In a statement released Saturday though, President Donald Trump seemed reluctant to take a similarly strong-worded stance against the man who killed Heyer. According to The New York Times, Trump instead condemned what he called the “egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides,” without actually singling out the white nationalist groups or the alleged driver's actions. In response to criticism over Trump's statement, White House officials said Sunday that the president “condemns all forms of violence, bigotry and hatred," which includes "white supremacists, K.K.K. neo-Nazi and all extremist groups.”

Despite Trump's lukewarm statement, it's clear that Heyer's death has made a huge impact on people all over the country: a GoFundMe campaign set up in Heyer's honor has already ended, after raising more than $225,000. And while the fact remains that Heyer's death is a tragedy that should never have even occurred, she has also become a important symbol for why it's so crucial that we don't shy away from standing up against racism and hatred. And although anger over her death is inevitable, it's essential that her legacy and message is one that isn't forgotten.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

Umm, Toys "R" Us Has A BOGO 50 Percent Off Deal So You Better Stock Up

After the holidays, you were probably hoping that your kid's massive toy collection would keep him entertained for a little while, at least. But that was wishful thinking, wasn't it? Because now that a couple of months have passed, all those must-hav…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

Turns Out, Kim Kardashian's Favorite Mom Products Look A Lot Like Your Own Faves

Being a mom is really hard work, especially for the first few months, and Kim Kardashian West is no different in that regard. Now the mother of three, Kardashian says that there are a few products she just can't live without when it comes to raising …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

These 9 Instant Pot Recipes Will Make Even The Pickiest Eater Happy At The Table

Like any parent, I've had my share of parenting hits and misses, but one of my favorite "wins" is my daughter's diverse palate. I don't even know if I can take credit for it, but I would like to think I had something to do with her love for lentils, …
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

Soda Might Hurt Your Fertility, Study Says, & Here's What You Can Do

Who doesn't love sugary drinks? I stopped drinking soda years ago, but I still love gulping down those fancy Starbucks coffee beverages. I don't have a big sweet tooth, but I am a sucker for sugar-sweetened beverages every now-and-then. Turns out, th…
By Annamarya Scaccia

10 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 30s

If you're like me, you evaluate the pros and cons of any major life decision. When my husband and I were considering starting a family, I thought about my career, education, and financial stability. I wanted to know how a pregnancy and childbirth wou…
By Steph Montgomery

This Woman Thought She Had An Eyelash Stuck In Her Eye. Then It Moved.

I'm not a person who is easily icked out. As a kid, I collected bugs and thought I was going to be an entomologist and asked Santa Claus for ant farms and nets to catch bees. I'm still super curious about anything that flies and crawls, which might s…
By Karen Fratti

A Hot Mess Mom's Guide To Surviving Winter

As I sit here at my home office in Connecticut, it's cold. Damn cold. Winter is a rough season in New England and it's even worse when you're a parent and have to manage cooped up, restless children. It's even worse when you're a hot mess as it is, u…
By Jamie Kenney

5 Red Flags Your Toddler Isn't Eating Enough

Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters, at least in my experience. You offer mashed potatoes, they want french fries. You give them crackers, they scream for chips. It's frustrating, to be sure, but it's usually their way of vying for independence. It…
By Candace Ganger

11 Ways Your Pregnancy Will Be Different If You Have A Boy Vs A Girl

If you've been pregnant before, you might start comparing your previous pregnancies to that of your current pregnancy. A lot of things can change from pregnancy to pregnancy, based on a whole host of different factors (including how well you remember…
By Lauren Schumacker

35 Moms Share The Most Disgusting Things Their Husbands Do

I'm a human being who revels in challenges. I like when people present me with one, especially if they don't think I can meet or succeed it, and I like taking a challenge on, especially if it's unexpected. So when I aimed to uncover the most disgusti…
By Jamie Kenney

How Having Kids In Your 20s Affects You Later In Life

For parents, like myself, who had kids in their 20s, there are a number of questions that come to mind. When you're deciding what your future will look like, you'll likely consider what this means for your health, career, and more down the line. Thin…
By Tessa Shull

8 Reasons I Let My Toddler Play Outside Unsupervised

I'm not a helicopter mom, but I'm not exactly a free-range parent either. I like to think of myself as safely ensconced somewhere in the middle. I insist on certain safety measures, like car seats and helmets. I prefer to keep my 2-year-old in my sig…
By Kimmie Fink

12 Moms Share How They Stay Healthy During Flu Season

Unfortunately, we're in the middle of the roughest flu seasons in recent memory. And we’re not totally out of the woods, either. People around the country are still getting the flu, and, sadly, some of them are having to be hospitalized due to flu-re…
By Priscilla Blossom

8 "Mistakes" I'm Glad I Made During My First Pregnancy

As an adult, I've learned you never really stop hating being told what to do. When I was pregnant I was getting instructions at every turn, from doctors, relatives, and complete strangers on the subway. I would nod and smile but then go about making …
By Liza Wyles

Study: Drinking Two Glasses Of Wine A Day Is Good For Your Mind — Here's Why

There’s more scientific proof that a daily drink or two isn't necessarily a bad thing and could have a place in an overall healthy lifestyle. A new study out of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in New York found that — in mice, at le…
By Tiffany Thomas

Research Says Eating Carbs Can Lead To A Healthy Pregnancy, So Bring On The Pasta

In the world of me, no food is better than bread. I know it's supposed to be pretty terrible for you, high in calories, low in protein, and full of that modern-day demon, gluten... but guys, it's really yummy. Especially warm out of the oven, when th…
By Jen McGuire

These Photos Of Prince George Then & Now Will Give You Serious Baby Fever

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child in Spring 2018. With all of the excitement surrounding the new baby, it's easy to forget all of the good times that have already passed. The couple's eldest is already well into the sc…
By Azure Hall

This Is, Hands Down, The *Grossest* Thing Babies Do Inside The Womb

Your baby's life in the womb may be safe and warm, but it's also kind of grody. Seriously, the whole process of growing into a human being includes more than a few icky moments along the way. But this is the grossest thing babies do inside the womb b…
By Lindsay E. Mack