On Saturday, three people were killed and 19 injured during a counter-protest in Charlottesville, Virginia. The group was protesting the “Unite the Right” rally of white supremacists that was taking place at the same time.
During the counter-protest, someone drove a car full speed into the group, killing one and injuring several others. Two state troopers died during the incident as well, when a helicopter crashed in a wooded area near the event.
The woman who was killed by the car was 32-year-old Heather Heyer. She was a paralegal who was known as a passionate, kind woman who consistently advocated for the disenfranchised.
On Monday, Heyer’s father spoke out about the incident in a video interview. Mark Heyer discussed the violence that took his daughter’s life and talked about the love of God that covers transgressions.
He said, “My daughter was a strong woman that had passionate opinions about the equality of everyone- and she tried to stand up for that. With her, it wasn’t lip service. It was real.”
Rather than being furious at James Alex Fields Jr, the man under suspicion for second-degree murder and three counts of malicious violence, Heyer showed grace. He said that our response cannot be from a place of hate, but from a place of forgiveness.
He said, “People need to stop hating, and they need to forgive each other. And I include myself in that, in forgiving the guy that did this. He doesn’t know no better. You know, I just think of what the Lord said on the cross. ‘Lord forgive him, they don’t know what they are doing.’”
He continued, saying how proud he was of his daughter for standing up for what is right. He said that Heather wanted to “do it peacefully and with a fierceness of heart that comes with her conviction.”
What do you think about this? Do you think that forgiveness should overcome hate? Let us know your thoughts on Facebook. To find out about the sentencing of the man responsible for Heather’s death, read about it here.