Mollie Tibbetts' Father Decries Using Her as Political 'Pawn'
BROOKLYN, Iowa — The father of slain Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts in an opinion piece spoke out against using his daughter’s death in support of “views she believed were profoundly racist,” a call that comes after President Donald Trump and others seized on the suspected killer’s immigration status to argue for changes in U.S. immigration laws.
Rob Tibbetts, who lives in Fresno, wrote in the opinion piece published online by The Des Moines Register on Saturday that while he supports debate on immigration, some politicians and pundits went too far in using his daughter’s death to promote political agendas. He said his stepdaughter is Latina and argued that the suspected killer “is no more a reflection of the Hispanic community as white supremacists are of all white people.”
“Do not appropriate Mollie’s soul in advancing views she believed were profoundly racist,” he wrote. “The act grievously extends the crime that stole Mollie from our family and is, to quote Donald Trump Jr., ‘heartless’ and ‘despicable.’ ”
Trump Jr. Criticizes the Media
The quote comes from a Friday opinion piece by Trump Jr. that criticized the media and Democrats for not playing up the suspect’s immigration status.
Recorded phone calls citing Mollie Tibbetts’ death in a push for white supremacist views began Tuesday, just days after her funeral. The robocalls cited comments Rob Tibbetts made in defense of Latinos during her funeral.
The calls question whether his daughter would feel the same if she were still alive and describe Rivera as “an invader from Mexico.”
Rob Tibbetts wrote in his opinion piece that his daughter was “nobody’s victim. Nor is she a pawn in others’ debate.”
“She may not be able to speak for herself, but I can and will,” he went on to say. “Please leave us out of your debate. Allow us to grieve in privacy and with dignity. At long last, show some decency. On behalf of my family and Mollie’s memory, I’m imploring you to stop.”