An Inconvenient Fact

Gail Sheehy has a really interesting piece about Heather Heyer, the activist who was murdered by a Nazi in Charlottesville. Like most people, she is complex and contradictory, but this part struck me (boldface mine):

That seems to have laid a base for Heather becoming a fighter for social justice. She developed into a progressive Democrat. By 2015, she became an avid supporter of Bernie Sanders. She, along with the majority of Charlottesville, voted for Sanders in Virginia’s Democratic primary. “When Bernie wasn’t the Democratic nominee, Heather didn’t even vote in the general election,” Bro told me.

According to Sheehy’s piece, Heyer was quite tenacious in her beliefs. So if the Nazi’s car doesn’t start or breaks down–and thus Heyer isn’t murdered–it’s easy to see her as the kind of Sanders supporter a certain faction of the Democratic Party loves to excoriate.

This isn’t meant to defame Heyer, or to defend not voting against Trump. But people are complex and contradictory. Heyer’s reality was different from how she has been portrayed. Perhaps some could learn to have a little more empathy for those who don’t see things the way they do. Online Twitter battles notwithstanding, it’s pretty clear Heyer wasn’t the enemy.

Added: In a bizarre twist, promotional material for Clinton’s book tour begins, “Friend — I have been thinking lately about bravery — the bravery of citizens like Heather Heyer who lost her life fighting the organized forces of hate and divisiveness.”

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