Rob Tibbetts, the father of slain University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts, penned a powerful op-ed in the Des Moines Register one day after Donald Trump Jr. published an op-ed in the same paper slamming Democrats for her death.
In his op-ed, Tibbetts called on politicians to stop using his daughter’s death to push their agenda. He was particularly critical of Don Jr., who has more than once slammed the liberal view on immigration by bringing up Mollie’s death. Tibbetts wrote that while a healthy debate on immigration is always welcome, using his daughter’s name to further a racist viewpoint was beyond the limits of “decency.”
“I encourage the debate on immigration; there is great merit in its reasonable outcome. But do not appropriate Mollie’s soul in advancing views she believed were profoundly racist. The act grievously extends the crime that stole Mollie from our family and is, to quote Donald Trump Jr., ‘heartless’ and ‘despicable.'”
Twenty-year-old Mollie Tibbetts disappeared when she went jogging on July 18 of this year. After a month-long search, suspect Cristhian Bahena Rivera led the local police to her dead body, following which he was charged with first-degree murder. Rivera’s immigrant status has since become a major political issue for conservatives who argue that liberal immigration policies have indirectly resulted in the young girl’s death.
Don Jr. has regularly cited Mollie’s name in slamming the liberal response, even going on to pen an op-ed of his own in Des Moines Register on Friday.
In this man's darkest hours, Rob Tibbetts perspective is simply amazing. https://t.co/ABlhV2aGF1
— Chris Rose (@ChrisRose) September 1, 2018
Rob Tibbetts wrote that unlike what Donald Trump Jr. wants people to do, he cannot blame the entire Hispanic community simply because Rivera had immigrated from Mexico seven years ago. Writing that someone like Rivera is no more a representative of the Latino community as white supremacists are of white people, he placed faith in the American justice system and asked others to not give the alleged killer more coverage than he deserves.
“The person who is accused of taking Mollie’s life is no more a reflection of the Hispanic community as white supremacists are of all white people. To suggest otherwise is a lie. Justice in my America is blind. This person will receive a fair trial, as it should be. If convicted, he will face the consequences society has set. Beyond that, he deserves no more attention.”
In his powerfully worded op-ed, the father of the slain girl pleaded with the American people to rise above petty expressions of racism and bigotry and instead come together in a tragic time — just as they did while searching for his daughter when she went missing.
“There was a common national will that did transcend opinion, race, gender and geography,” he wrote.
“Let’s not lose sight of that miracle. Let’s not lose sight of Mollie. Instead, let’s turn against racism in all its ugly manifestations both subtle and overt.”
Trump Jr. had earlier written that Mollie Tibbetts’ death unmasked the “true radical face of the Democrats.” He has also tweeted plenty of times citing the young girl’s name, and on one occasion even misspelled it.