This Seriousness Just In...
An Ode to Heather Heyer: Our Generation’s Crispus Attucks
By Bathhouse John for Vox Populi | August 20, 2017 at 12 PM (“High Noon”)
A proud Independent Voter and Trump supporter, I normally write relatively sarcastic treatises on various political issues of the moment. This essay is wholeheartedly intended to honor the memory of Heather Heyer, who was senselessly killed Saturday, August 12, during the Charlottesville Protests of August 11-12, 2017.
Like the nondescript Crispus Attucks, the first colonist killed during the Boston Massacre, an event which precipitated their break with England in 1775 at Lexington and Concord, Heather Heyer, a nondescript American, was also killed during a protest which, I believe, like the Boston Massacre, may endure for eons. Yes, this event is a watershed moment. But, for whom? Liberals? Conservatives? More importantly, what about you and me, and our progeny?
Attucks was a “free Black” in Boston who risked his neck to protest what the colonists viewed as an overly intrusive meddling by “Big Government” in colonial affairs. Mind you, he risked being arrested or killed by the British force occupying Boston, but also the simple fact that it was not entirely out of the question that a “free Black” in a northern colony be kidnapped by bounty hunters and hauled back into slavery where it was legal. Though the historical record is muddled as to why firing occurred, English troops opened fire on the protesters, killing Attucks and four others, not to mention six wounded.
Here’s where these two heroes' stories splinter, but then fuse together.
Heather Heyers was protesting in support of the taking down of the Robert E. Lee statue, particularly against the racist groups who came to town in support of keeping the statue up. She was a peaceful protester, along with some on the right who wanted the statue to remain - though admittedly I wasn’t there and the media has not shown any proof, pictures aside, to the contrary. This young lady, a paralegal, smart, driven, caring, internally and externally beautiful, undoubtedly decided to attend the protest knowing that the - frankly - irrelevant and unworthy David Duke, the KKK and other bigots and crackpots on the right were trying to fight the removal of the statue. These purveyors of hate were clearly called out by the media. Heyer could have slept in.
Heyer could have chilled on the couch and watched a movie, gone to Starbucks and hung out amidst idle chatter, but decided instead to go out of anyone's comfort zone and attend the second day of the protest on Saturday, August 12. Yes, Heather Heyer unknowingly stepped out into the warm Charlottesville air and changed history. A racist person, not worth mentioning by name, hit this siren of peace with malice, killing Heyer instantly. The monster knocked the life out of her, but not the meaning of Heather Heyer’s existence.
I strongly urge you to read the following article. Here are some generalized comments about Heather Heyer, according to the CNN article, “Heather Heyer Died ‘Fighting for What She Believed In.’”...
-A Friend: Heyer had strong convictions; She “was a sweet, sweet soul….”; Heather once said, “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.” She was a voice for people who were afraid to speak out about their unjust fate; “Words can’t describe Heather”;
-Father: Wanted to help people and was willing to risk her safety to do so;
-Mother: Heyer’s death gave us a national forum, sadly, but nonetheless a forum;
-Boss: Heyer was “precise, witty” and loving like family;
-Coworker: Heyer was dedicated to the bankruptcy clients she worked with; She told her coworker that she wanted to go and voice her support at the protest rally, but was afraid of getting shot; Heyer prophetically told her coworker, “I don't want to die.”;
-Governor of VA: Heyer was doing what she believed to be right.
People like Crispus Attucks, like Heather Heyer, cement the rights of all of us to speak our minds, to protest what we feel is right or wrong. Regardless of your place on the political spectrum, if your views are just and fair, and do not represent hate or bigotry of any kind, you deserve a voice. Those extremist groups, on the other hand . . . what can we do? Silencing one voice for one reason, opens up silencing any voices for any reasons. Fact is, that concept is the death knell of any democracy. Don't believe me? The histories are at your fingertips. Do your own research.
When I think of hate groups, and there are those on both sides of the spectrum, whether you want to admit it or not, I always think of the classic scene in The Blues Brothers movie, when Jake Blues says to his brother, Elwood, “I hate Illinois Nazis.” Amen!
Who doesn’t hate bigotry, violence, and hatred? Thankfully (granted maybe I’m being slightly naive), most Americans from along the entire political spectrum do. That’s what Crispus Attucks, a mild-mannered American, stood for, died for, and now lives on forever as a symbol of our most enduring freedom: speech. AND...That’s what Heather Heyer, a mild-mannered American, also stood for, died for, and will now live on forever as a symbol of our most enduring freedom: speech.
That being said, I thank you, Heather Heyer, for all you’ve done to protect my rights, my children’s rights, and those of my children’s children. I can never repay you, but will attempt a scant down payment with these heartfelt words described herein. Attucks, Heyer, and so many countless others are now honored veterans of America’s domestic wars.
The Rose of Charlottesville
Young ‘n’ brave to be so sure
Beautiful beyond compare
High school grad with some despair
Took a big chance, seek anew
Heather was of 32
A Charlottesville resident
Pursuit as paralegal
Driven to be a better
Caring kind, simple person
Precise no doubt, full of clout
Witty, free, unencumbered-
A loving, sweet, sweet soul - see?
Spoke for the many silenced
Reversed the unjust, brave-ry
Broke down barriers, so bold
Prophetic beyond her years
Yet strong willed with little tears
“I’m afraid of getting shot”
“I don’t want to die,” she said
Must do what’s morally right:
By now, “If you’re not outraged”
“you’re not paying attention.”
Change is surely gonna come
So, sweet Heather took a chance
To take a stand one warm morn
Got up, dressed like any day
Forgot about her own mess
Went to the tepid protest
Met up with her real close friends
Stood toe-to-toe with the hate:
The evil c’reening sedan
'Las, oh, Rose of Charlottesville....
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