Sunday 22 July 2018

Mother of Charlottesville protest victim launches foundation at MTV awards

The Rev Robert Wright Lee, an ancestor of the Civil War general whose statue was supposedly the centre of the protest, also appeared on stage to denounce racism.

Susan Bro
Susan Bro

By Sam Blewett, Press Association Los Angeles Correspondent

The mother of a woman killed protesting against a far-right rally in Charlottesville launched a foundation to fight against hatred as she appeared at the MTV Video Music Awards.

Susan Bro, whose daughter Heather Heyer, 32, was killed when a car ploughed into counter-protesters in the Virginia city, presented an award at the ceremony in Los Angeles on Sunday.

Ms Bro was brought to the stage by the Rev Robert Wright Lee, an ancestor of Civil War general Robert E Lee whose statue was supposedly at the centre of the protest.

The mother said the non-profit Heather Heyer Foundation would provide scholarships to help people join her daughter’s “fight against hatred”.

“Only 15 days ago my daughter Heather was killed as she protested racism. I miss her but I know she’s here tonight,” Ms Bro told The Forum arena.

“I’ve been deeply moved to see people across the world, the whole world, find inspiration in her courage.

“I want people to know that Heather never marched alone, she was always joined by people from every race and every background in this country.”

She presented the best fight against the system, a prize that honours videos that promote social change, to all six nominees including John Legend and the cast of musical Hamilton.

Mr Lee said inspiration for combating hate can be found in the Black Lives Movement, the Women’s March and “especially Heather Heyer who died fighting for her beliefs”.

He said his ancestor, whose statue and its removal from a public park was supposedly the basis for the August 12 rally, has become a symbol of white supremacy, racism and hate.

“As a pastor, it is my moral duty to speak out against racism, America’s original sin,” he added.

Press Association

Style Newsletter

Stay on top of the latest fashion, beauty and celeb gossip in our Style newsletter.

Also in this section