Bro thanked Trump for his earlier statement
In the midst of a press conference where President Donald Trump blamed “both sides” for the violence in Charlottesville, there was one talking point that was particularly disturbing: his using victim Heather Heyer’s mom and a message she allegedly sent him to bolster his statement about the protest.
Following his non-reaction in the wake of the Charlottesville protests, President Trump, like a middle school boy forced to write “I will not talk during class” on a blackboard 100 times, went before the cameras again on Monday to read a statement that finally mentioned and laid blame on the KKK and white supremacists.
After starting out by talking about unemployment and the economy because he is incapable of doing the right thing in the right way in any circumstance, Trump said the following: “Racism is evil and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.”
He clearly didn’t mean it, but since the bar for presidential behavior has already sunk beneath the Earth’s core, we’ll take it. Bro heard his statement and responded, thanking the president: “Thank you, President Trump, for those words of comfort and for denouncing those who promote violence and hatred.”
But less than 24 hours later, Trump had to go and Trump it all up. On Tuesday, he presided over a clown car of Nazi clichés that some have called a press conference, in which he reverted back to blaming “both sides” for the events in Charlottesville. “What about the alt-left that came charging at the, as you say, the alt-right. Do they have any semblance of guilt?…You had a group on one side that was bad and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent. And nobody wants to say that, but I’ll say it right now…you had a group on the other side that came charging in without a permit and they were very, very violent…I think there’s blame on both sides and I have no doubt about it….”
But the kicker was when, in true Trump fashion, he praised himself by mentioning Bro’s statement: “In fact, the young woman, who I hear is a fantastic young woman — and it was on NBC — her mother wrote me and said — through I guess Twitter, social media — the nicest things, and I very much appreciated that. I hear she was a fine, really actually an incredible young woman. But her mother on Twitter thanked me for what I said. And honestly, if the press were not fake and if it was honest, the press would have said what I said was very nice.”
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) August 13, 2017
It was despicable for him to bring Bro into the conversation for the sole purpose of talking about how she “thanked him.” Her name shouldn’t come up unless it’s because you are repeating how very sorry you are for her. To mention Bro’s appreciation in the same press conference where he dismissed her daughter’s murder and said both sides were equally responsible for violence was to imply that even with those horrible statements, he still had Bro’s support. He was wrong.
Bro responded to his words on Good Morning America today, where she made her feelings about the president clear:
"Have you talked to [Pres. Trump] directly yet?" – @RobinRoberts
"I have not and now I will not." – Susan Bro, mother of Heather Heyer pic.twitter.com/TlqplPyi3J
— Good Morning America (@GMA) August 18, 2017
“I hadn’t really watched the news until last night, and I’m not talking to the president now. I’m sorry, after what he said about my child…equating the protesters, like ‘Ms. Heyer,’ with the KKK and the white supremacists. You can’t wash this one away by shaking my hand and saying ‘I’m sorry.’ I’m not forgiving for that.”
Bro’s commitment to honoring her daughter and her bravery in the face of what must be some incredible pressure is beyond admirable. She has been thrust into the political spotlight and is handling it in a way we think would have made Heyer very proud. She has been dignified, honest, and has moved people around the world with her grace, something she showed again at the end of the interview when Robin Roberts asked, “Is there something though that you would want to say to the president?”
Bro paused and then said, firmly, “Think before you speak.”