Video: Heather Heyer's Mother Joined By Robert E. Lee's Relative At MTV VMAs
Though host Katy Perry's milquetoast introduction to Sunday night's VMAs seemed like it may have set a non-political tone for the typically somewhat-political MTV awards show, that was thankfully not the case. The network brought out Charlottesville victim Heather Heyer's mother, Susan Bro, to speak alongside Rev. Robert Wright Lee IV, whose 4x great uncle was Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
Before introducing Bro, Lee—a pastor at North Carolina's Bethany United Church of Christ—addressed the audience:
My name is Robert Lee IV, I’m a descendant of Robert E. Lee, the Civil War general whose statue was at the center of violence in Charlottesville. We have made my ancestor an idol of white supremacy, racism, and hate. As a pastor, it is my moral duty to speak out against racism, America's original sin. 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.
Bro announced the six nominees for the “Best Fight Against the System” award, all of whom won the award. "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," Bro declared, adding: "In that spirit, MTV has decided to honor all six nominees," who were John Legend ("Surefire"), Lin-Manuel Miranda ("Immigrants"), Alessia Cara ("Scars to Your Beautiful"), Logic and Damian Lemar Hudson ("Black SpiderMan"), Shailene Woodley and Taboo ("Stand Up/Stand N Rock"), and Big Sean ("Light").