Recognizing the Sacrifices Virginians Have Made in Disarming Hate

Press Release / August 12, 2019

Contact: Rob Cline,


“Two years ago today, three Virginians — Heather Heyer, Trooper-Pilot Berke Bates, and Lt. Jay Cullen — lost their lives at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville. One of them, Heather Heyer, was murdered by a neo-nazi demonstrator as she peacfully protested the vile gathering of hate. 

“The events of Charlottesville may be two years behind us, but it is clear that the threat of white nationalist violence and intimidation is as real as ever. We saw devastating violence at the hands of hatred just days ago in El Paso, Texas. We’ve seen a pervasive ideology of racism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, and misogyny being propagated from world leaders as well as the dark corners of the internet.

“Today is also Eid al-Adha, the Muslim holy celebration in which we honor those who have made sacrifices for their friends, families, and communities. This celebration should serve as a reminder that the rising tide of hate can be defeated by the sacrifices of those who are willing to show up and fight back. Every single Virginian, including Heather, who has the courage to confront bigotry and make a sacrifice to defend their community is worthy of both our praise and prayer.

“Alongside grassroots opposition, Virginia must become a leader in disarming hate and dismantling systemic white supremacy with bold legislation. We must finally make progress on common sense gun reforms. We must make it harder for white supremacists to arm and organize. And we must start to recognize the throughline of historic racism in our institutions and in our policy around criminal justice, pollution, healthcare, education and more. Only then can we get true justice and follow in the brave footsteps of Heather Heyer.”