Susan Bro, Heather Heyer’s Mother, Gives Moving Speech At VMAs
Susan Bro, the mother of Heather Heyer, the 32-year-old woman killed by a neo-Nazi supporter during a clash of protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, earlier this month, gave a moving speech while presenting the award for the Best Fight Against the System on Sunday night at MTV’s Video Music Awards Show.
The award, newly created by the VMAs, aims to award artists who tackle social injustices through their music videos. Heyer, who announced the winners of the award, was introduced first by Reverend Robert Lee IV, a decedent of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
“We have made my ancestor an idol of white supremacy, racism, and hate,” Lee, whose ancestor’s statue was at the center of the violence in Virginia, began. “As a pastor, it is my moral duty to speak out against racism, America’s original sin.”
“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 march in the Women’s March in January, and especially Heather Heyer, who died fighting for her beliefs in Charlottesville.”
Bro took the stage to a standing ovation.
“Thank you. I love you guys too. Only 15 days ago, my daughter Heather was killed as she protested racism. I miss her, but I know she is here tonight,” Bro began her speech.
“I have been deeply moved to see people across the world, the whole world, find inspiration in her courage. 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.”
She continued, “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. In that spirit, MTV has decided to honor all six nominees for Best Fight Against the System. THrough their diversity, these six videos show there are many ways to take action and many battleground in the fight for social good.”
Bro concluded her comments, “I congratulate all these artists on their VMA tonight. And I look forward to the important work that they, and all of you, will do together to make the world a better, kinder place.”
Bro’s speech was one of several politically charged moments during last night’s ceremony.
Six transgender service members took to the red carpet to protest President Donald Trump‘s ban on transgender people from joining the armed forces. They were invited at the request of MTV’s president Chris McCarthy.
“Let’s leave her tonight remembering that we must show these Nazi white supremacist jerks in Charlottesville and all over the country that as a nation with liberty as our slogan, we have zero tolerance for their violence, their hatred and their discrimination.”
“We must resist,” Jackson concluded.