For much of Monday and Tuesday, it looked like we were on the verge of more ugliness in Charlottesville, Virginia. Several trolls aligned with the noxiously racist Website Daily Stormer were actively making plans to crash the funeral of Heather Heyer, the woman who was murdered while taking part in a counter-demonstration to the racist Unite the Right rally. As obscene as this potentially was in and of itself, Heyer was killed when white nationalist James Fields plowed his car into a crowd of people.
Fortunately, the funeral took place on Wednesday without any major incident. Unfortunately, Heyer’s mother hasn’t been able to breathe easy. She’s been bombarded with death threats for daring to speak out.
Heyer’s mother, Susan Bro, offered a moving eulogy for her daughter at a theater in downtown Charlottesville. Watch it here.
Bro said that she saw her daughter in a lot of people in the audience, since like her, a lot of them “go that extra mile” for what they believe in. She added that Heyer’s death touched so many people because “what she did is achievable”–standing up for what you believe in. She had a message for Fields and his buddies.
“They tried to kill my child to shut her up. Well, guess what? You just magnified her.”
Bro sees this as “just the beginning of Heather’s legacy.” She urged the audience to find “that spark of conviction” and find out what they can do to make things better. At the same time, she urged the audience to channel that energy into “righteous action,” not violence.
She kept up the same line the next day in an interview with MSNBC’s Katy Tur. Bro says that she is speaking because Heyer no longer has a chance to speak. She had a message for President Trump–she intended to continue her daughter’s work to make things “fair and equitable.”
When asked what she thought about Trump’s assertion that there was violence on both sides, she recalled that Charlottesville police told her that the group that was in the streets when Fields came through was “a peaceful group” that was “kind of actually disbanding at the time.” It didn’t matter in any event, because “the guy mowed my daughter down.”
She also believes that there are a lot of people who feel ignored in this country. The way to change that is to “listen to each other” and “stop the name calling.” While she was appalled at the hate spewed by the racists and white nationalists who descended on Charlottesville, she thought that “somebody needs to find out what is bothering them.”
She urged all sides not to abandon the way of peace.
“Stop the punches, stop the kicking. Once you’ve thrown a punch, once you’ve thrown a kick, once you’ve hurled a rock, you’ve become irrational.”
Near the end of the interview, Bro revealed that the racists have done a very good job of proving her point. She said that any parent with an adult child knows that their kids do “things that are dangerous.” When they don’t come home, “you can’t live in fear.” She then dropped a bombshell–she’d already had death threats, but wasn’t letting it deter her because “I’m on a mission now.”
A stunned Tur asked, “Death threats for what?” Bro replied that she was getting threatened just for speaking out, because “talk is fear to them.”
Unbelievable. Heyer has just been laid to rest, and the thugs aren’t willing to let her family have a moment’s peace. This despite the fact that they are having a hard time staying on the Web. You may recall that the Daily Stormer lost its domain when site guru Andrew Anglin’s disgraceful attack on Heyer was rightly deemed to be an incitement to violence.
After spending most of Tuesday on the dark web, it managed to get a Russian domain name. Just a few hours later, however, Cloudflare, the site’s proxy provider, terminated Daily Stormer’s account after finding out Anglin and friends were openly claiming Cloudflare supported their agenda. Later that day, the site’s Russian registrar pulled the plug.
The site is now back online after startup proxy company BitMitigate took it on. BitMitigate founder Nick Lim says he will not drop a client unless it harms people in any way. Well, Nick, time to put your money where your mouth is and let Bro and her family have some peace.
(featured image: screenshot courtesy MSNBC)