The most memorable moment from the MTV Video Music Awards had nothing whatsoever to do with music.
Toward the end of the broadcast, Susan Bro and Robert Lee IV took to the stage.
The former is the mother of Heather Heyer, a 32-year old woman who was killed by a White Supremacist during the ugly situation in Charlottesville two weeks ago.
The latter is a pastor and descendant of Civil War general Robert E. Lee, whose statue removal sparked protests in that town by modern day members of the Nazi party.
“It is my moral duty to speak out against racism, America’s original sin,” Lee said as the audience applauded, adding while introducing Bro:
“Today, I call on all of us with privilege and power to answer God’s call to confront racism and white supremacy head on…
“We can find inspiration in the Black Lives Matter movement; the women who marched in the women’s march in January; and especially Heather Heyer, who died fighting for her beliefs in Charlottesville.”
Heyer’s mother, who recently had very harsh words for Donald Trump, then appeared on stage to say a few words about her daughter’s legacy – and also announce the launch of the Heather Heyer Foundation, “a nonprofit organization that will provide scholarships to help more people join Heather’s fight against hatred.”
Summoning up the strength, Bro said the following about her child:
“I want people to know that Heather never marched alone.
“She was always joined by people of every race and every background in this country.
“In that spirit, MTV has decided to honor all six nominees for Best Fight Against the System.”
These were the category’s six nominees:
- John Legend (“Surefire”)
- Alessia Cara (“Scars to Your Beautiful”)
- Logic and Damian Lemar Hudson (“Black SpiderMan”)
- Shailene Woodley and Taboo (“Stand Up/Stand N Rock”)
- Big Sean (“Light”)
- Lin-Manuel Miranda (“Immigrants”)
They were were all presented with the award.
“Through their diversity, these six videos show their many ways to take action and many battlegrounds in the fight for social good,” Bro said.
She and Lee then exited the stage arm in arm.
Pretty powerful stuff.
Watch the it all unfold now: