An entire country mourned the death of Heather Heyer, a paralegal, who went to Charlottesville to protest the hateful march of neo-Nazis and clansmen — only to be murdered when James A. Fields, 20, allegedly rammed his car into protesters. Now the organizer of the racist march has sent out a tweet calling her a “fat, disgusting Communist” — a tweet he later blamed on being drugged out of his gourd. Jason Kessler explained that he has been doing some heavy drugs and drinking lately.
Kessler was the driving force behind the “Unite the Right” march and sent out a tweet saying
“Heather Heyer was a fat, disgusting Communist,. Communists have killed 94 million. Looks like it was payback time.”
Even fellow marchers denounced Kessler’s tweet and he later deleted it. He first reportedly claimed that he was hacked. On Saturday, however, he offered this explanation:
“I repudiate the heinous tweet that was sent from my account last night. I’ve been under a crushing amount of stress & death threats. I’m taking ambien, xanax and I had been drinking last night. I sometimes wake up having done strange things I can’t remember.”
Not exactly a redeeming defense. I really did not intend to defame the deceased because I in orbit on a cocktail of Ambien, Xanax, and hard alcohol. Fortunately for Kessler, you cannot defame the dead — a doctrine that I have long criticized. It is doubtful that the statements would be actionable by the parents, though they could explore liability against the organizers in they believe that the organizers invited or encouraged violence.