It is tragic that people like Heather Heyer die because of the stupidity and recklessness of violent mobs.
Though there is much more to learn about the lone victim—now being identified by family and friends as Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old paralegal from Virginia—who lost her life in the vicious attack in Charlottesville on a group of anti-racist demonstrators, the last public message she left behind offered at least a semblance of what inspired her to march against hate on Saturday: “If you not outraged, you’re not paying attention.”
The well-worn but still evocative saying is the banner image on Heyer’s public Facebook page, receiving increased attention since her horrific death on Saturday afternoon when an individual—the police have arrested and charged 20-year-old James Fields Jr. with murder—intentionally slammed a car into people protesting a rally by neo-Nazi and white supremacists in the city.
On a GoFundMe page, established with the apparent blessing of Heyer’s family, a friend wrote, “Heather Heyer was murdered while protesting against hate. She is a Greene County native and Graduated from William Monroe High School. Her mother (whom I will not name until she is ready) said ‘She died doing what was right. My heart is broken, but I am forever proud of her’.” The page—which had set a $50,000 goal—had already surpassed that amount as of this writing.
On the GoFundMe page in her honor, people left messages of thanks and offered condolences to her friends and family.