Heather Heyer's Mom: Biden 'Didn't Reach Out to Me' To Use Daughter's Story
The mother of the woman killed during the 2017 unrest in Charlottesville, Virginia, said Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden never reached out to her before using her daughter’s death as a talking point in his campaign announcement.
“But I wasn’t surprised,” said Susan Bro, whose daughter, Heather Heyer, was killed when James Alex Fields Jr. , convicted of first-degree murder, drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters who had come out to oppose neo-Nazis and others marching on Aug. 12, 2017.
“Most people do that sort of thing. They capitalize on whatever situation is handy. He didn’t reach out to me, and didn’t mention her by name specifically, and he probably knew we don’t endorse candidates,” Bro, co-founder of a foundation set up in Heyer’s memory, told The Daily Beast.
“Since we had not spoken, I’m glad he didn’t specifically mention Heather. It’s not all about her,” she said.
During his speech, the former vice president said that neo-Nazis and their supporters who gathered for a march “were met by a courageous group of Americans. And a violent clash ensued. And a brave young woman lost her life.” The speech criticized President Donald Trump’s response to the unrest.
Bro said she was surprised by the extent Biden focused on the August 2017 clashes in Charlottesville and her daughter’s death.
“Being included is one thing, but being the focus is another,” Bro said, according to WCAV.
She also said the mention was unexpected, given Biden’s lack of visibility in the community.
“I don’t think we’ve seen him in town. I don’t think he’s ever been here, or maybe he has in the past, I don’t know,” Bro said. “It was just sort of a feeling of, ‘Well, here we go again.'”
Some jabbed Biden for using the events of Charlottesville to boost his candidacy.
So #Charlottesville, are we all in agreement that Joe Biden using our personal tragedy as the backdrop for starting his 2020 bid is…sort of gross?
— Margaret Thornton (@MaggieEThornton) April 22, 2019
Charlottesville is not a prop. https://t.co/6unNwpMlmk
— Lisa Woolfork (@LWoolfork) April 25, 2019
Joe Biden is centering Charlottesville and the fight against white nationalism in his 2020 campaign.
But where was Joe Biden when white nationalists and their sympathizers were beating up on Ilhan Omar?
— Justice Democrats (@justicedems) April 25, 2019
Bro made it clear that she will not support Biden just because he mentioned Charlottesville.
“I am the face, the president, co-founder, and the board chair of the Heather Heyer Foundation. We are not going to endorse or support any campaign,” she said.
Biden called hours after his announcement, Bro said, and they discussed the loss of children, something both had suffered.
“I think he said something about, ‘I would’ve reached out sooner, but I wasn’t sure how you’d feel.’ And I commented, ‘Yes, I noticed you didn’t mention her name because you hadn’t contacted me,'” she said, according to CNN.
Bro said that the issues of hate and hate crime do need to be part of the upcoming campaign.
“I think it has to be part of the political dialogue. Because this is a very serious problem in our country,” Bro said.
“Not only do we deal with hate crime, we have to deal with the reporting of hate crime.”
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