The column came one day after Donald Trump Jr. attacked Democrats for their response to Mollie’s death, saying they are “more concerned with protecting their radical open-borders agenda than the lives of innocent Americans.” Trump referred to these alleged actions as “heartless” and “despicable,” in his op-ed, also published in the Des Moines Register.
Tibbetts disagreed. Using Trump’s own words against him, he pointed out how appropriating Mollie’s death with “views she believed were profoundly racist” is what’s really “heartless" and "despicable.”
“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,” Tibbetts wrote. “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.”
Tibbetts also offered a heartfelt apology to the Hispanic community in his piece and shared that his stepdaughter is Latinx, as are her children – whom Mollie “cherished.” Because of this Tibbetts explained that he’s Hispanic, African, Asian, and European — in other words, an American. “As an American, I have one tenet: to respect every citizen of the world and actively engage in the ongoing pursuit to form a more perfect union,” he wrote.
The piece is an eloquent rebuttal to Trump Jr.’s and mirrors the views Tibbetts’ daughter held about racism and equality. It is unnerving that Tibbetts had to write a piece like this in the first place. This isn’t the first time members of Tibbetts’ family have requested that people stop politicising her death, and still conservatives continue to do so.
Tibbetts continued on to ask for privacy during this difficult time.
“Let’s turn against racism in all its ugly manifestations both subtle and overt. Let’s turn toward each other with all the compassion we gave Mollie,” Tibbetts wrote. “Let’s listen, not shout. Let’s build bridges, not walls. Let’s celebrate our diversity rather than argue over our differences.”
Mollie Tibbetts, 20, was a student at the University of Iowa, and was last seen jogging in her hometown of Brooklyn, IA on July 18. Over a month later on August 21, her body was found in a cornfield. Authorities have since charged Cristhian Bahena Rivera, 24, an undocumented Mexican immigrant and local farmhand, with her murder.