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

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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.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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