The father of slain Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts penned a blistering editorial ripping those using his daughter’s death to advance political agendas and promote racist views.
Ron Tibbetts wrote in the Des Moines Register Saturday that he and his family have already appealed to politicians to quit including Mollie in their debates and arguments, and that they have listened and stopped.
What the family hasn’t been able to quell, however, are those who have pounced upon the fact that Mollie’s alleged killer is suspected to be an illegal immigrant.
“I encourage the debate on immigration; there is great merit in reasonable outcome,” Tibbetts wrote. “But do not appropriate Mollie’s soul in advancing views she believed were profoundly racist.”
Tibbetts continued, declaring that his daughter is not “a pawn in others’ debate,” and that including the Tibbetts family in racist rhetoric is impeding upon their ability to “grieve in privacy and with dignity.”
“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,” he 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.”
The grieving father offered an arm of support to the Hispanic community, and praised its contributions to American culture.
He also wrote that embracing hate goes directly against American values.
“It is the opposite of leadership. It is the opposite of humanity. It is heartless. It is despicable. It is shameful,” he wrote.
Cristhian Rivera, who worked locally on a farm, was arrested Aug. 21 and charged with first-degree murder in Tibbetts’ death.
Authorities suspect she was abducted, while an autopsy revealed she died of stab wounds.
Ron Tibbetts has previously spoken out about the politicization of Mollie’s murder, and said last month that he didn’t want the Hispanic community ostracized, as they are just Iowans “with better food.”
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