Pastor Robert Lee IV spoke out against racism and white supremacy at the VMAs last night in a powerful speech introducing Susan Bro, the mother of Heather Heyer, recently killed protesting racism in Virginia.
Lee is a descendant of the Civil War general Robert E. Lee, whose statue created the focal point of tension at white supremacist rallies this month in Charlottesville, VA. He spoke out clearly against his ancestor addressing the crowd of celebrities before announcing the winners of the Fight Against the System Award, a new honor designed to recognize artists spreading important and impactful messages through their work.
"We have made my ancestor an idol of white supremacy, racism, and hate," said Lee. "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."
After Lee's impassioned condemnation of his ancestor and the racists who marched in Charlottesville, Bro addressed the crowd, before awarding each of the six nominees for Fight Against the System their own award.
"I want people to know Heather never marched alone," said Bro, "she was always joined by people from every race and every background in this country."
During her speech, Bro announced a new scholarship fund, the Heather Heyer Foundation, honoring the continuing battle against hatred around the globe.
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