Father of Charlottesville Victim Delivers Powerful Call for Forgiveness

“People need to stop hating,” he said in a video.

A car hits a crowd of people protesting white supremacists in Charlottesville on Saturday.Ryan M. Kelly/AP

The father of the woman killed by a driver who plowed into a crowd of people protesting white supremacists in Charlottesville has a simple message: “People need to stop hating.”

Standing in front of his home in Sharpes, Florida, on Monday, Mark Heyer asked Americans to move beyond the hatred that took his daughter’s life in Charlottesville on Saturday. “And they need to forgive each other,” he told Florida Today, a local newspaper. “I include myself in that, in forgiving the guy that did this.”

“He don’t know no better,” he added. “I just think of what the Lord said on the cross. ‘Lord, forgive them. They don’t know what they’re doing.’”

Heyer said he was proud of his 32 year-old daughter, Heather. “She had more courage than I did,” he said, appearing to hold back tears. “She had a stubborn backbone, that if she thought she was right, she would stand there and defy you.”

Heyer continued, “I hope all of this stuff that’s come out isn’t twisted into something negative. 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.”

The video of Heyer’s comments is below.

Video by Malcolm Denemark.

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend

Latest

Give a Year of the Truth

at our special holiday rate

just $12

Order Now

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.