‘There’s no excuse for hatred’: Watch the emotional interview between Heather Heyer’s mom and Anderson Cooper
The emotional conversation unfolded as Hayer’s mom Susan told the world who her daughter was. The 32-year-old paralegal worked to help those who fell on tough financial times. She was a believer in social justice. She cared about equality. She died fighting for it.
“Heather was a very passionate woman,” her mother explained. “She was very fair minded. She was driven to make people clarify their situation, to make people accountable for their behavior, to make people look at themselves and stop what she believed to be unfair.”
She had a “radar” for injustice, her mother continued, saying that Heather took care of people and protected others all throughout her life. She said that everyone is coming out of the woodwork to tell her stories about what a good soul her daughter was and how she worked hard to help them or someone they knew.
She explained that she was with a good friend when she got word they were looking for Heather’s next of kin at the hospital.
“I kept calling the hospital, as my friend was driving me to the hospital,” Susan continued. “They kept telling me, we don’t have a patient by that name and we were frantically trying to find her. And her friends had actually asked the hospital people to find her — it was probably the worst day of my life.”
When it came to President Donald Trump, Susan’s words changed. She said that the president used the words KKK and “white supremacists” for the first time in days and it was important.
“I think we need to call out hate where we see hate,” she said. “I think we need to call out criminal activity where we see criminal activity.”
When it comes to the man charged with her murder, she said she has two emotions. First, that he is young but he’s not a child and he made the decision to willingly commit the action.
“I believe that he thought hate was going to be the answer, and that hate is going to fix things,” she continued. “But he was wrong, and he will someday come to see that, I hope. And I’m sorry for the pain he will go through. I’m sorry for the pain he’s putting his mother through right now. I’m also extremely sorry that he chose to kill my child and to injure a bunch of other people. He didn’t have the right to do that. And if you watch the tapes, you can tell he had that exactly in mind. This wasn’t a video game, buddy, this was real people, OK? There are real consequences to what you did. And I’m sorry you chose to do that. You have ruined your life, and you’ve disturbed mine, but you took my child from me, and I’m going to be the voice that she can no longer be. So, you gave us a national forum, and maybe I should thank you for that. But I can’t. I would rather have my child.”
She brought up the “say her name” campaign and conveyed that she hopes the one thing that can come out of it is that people “check your actions before you do something. You explain yourself to God, to yourself, to another person, whatever you have to do, but you hold yourself accountable before you go after somebody,” she said.