Heather Heyer, the woman killed during Saturday's Charlottesville rally, became a martyr for social justice advocates all across the country. Now, her father, Mark Heyer, is going one step further by asking people to “stop hating.”
WATCH: Heather Heyer's father says he forgives the man who killed his daughter. "She had more courage than I had." pic.twitter.com/S1aVQzfvW8— Yashar Ali (@yashar) August 15, 2017
During a recent interview, the grieving father told the country that he hopes the death of his daughter will serve as a message of love, not hate.
“My daughter was a strong woman who had passionate opinions about the equality of everyone and she tried to stand up for that. And for her it wasn’t lip service, it was real. It was something that she wanted to share with everyone,” he explained.
But worse than seeing his daughter die as a result of hate, Heyer continued, is to know that, perhaps, her death could end up meaning the opposite of what she would have wanted to see.
“[M]y thoughts with all of this stuff is that people need to stop hating and they need to forgive each other. I include myself in that forgiving the guy that did this. He don’t know no better. I just think about what the Lord said on the cross. Lord, forgive them. They don’t know what they’re doing,” the devoted father said.
Speaking from his Sharpes, Florida, home, Heyes urged the country to unite. But he also did not hesitate to let others know just how proud he was of his daughter.
“She had more courage than I did,” he told reporters. “She had a stubborn backbone, that if she thought she was right, she would stand there and defy you.”
Still, what matters after so much hate was on display, he told reporters, is that the nation learns something from this incident that may put people back on track. Allowing more animosity to brew after the clashes will only cause more harm, he continued.
“I hope all of this stuff that’s come out isn’t twisted into something negative," he said. "But there comes a positive change in people’s hearts. In their thinking. In their understanding of their neighbor. We just need to forgive each other.”
Hopefully, this message of forgiveness and love will reach Americans far and wide.
Now, we just hope that those who stood by the side of the aggressors during the rally may also learn to put down their arms and finally come to terms with the fact that hate will only result in more anger, death, and ostracism.
Banner and thumbnail image credit: Reuters/Alejandro Alvarez