November 28, 2022

Mollie Tibbetts’ aunt just sent Trump and his supporters a powerful message they shouldn’t ignore

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The tragic heartbreaking murder of Mollie Tibbetts, a University of Iowa student who was killed when she refused to respond to the advances of Cristhian Bahena Rivera, has been seized upon by the Trump administration as an opportunity to advance their hateful dehumanization and demonization campaign against Hispanic immigrants.


The right-wing media machine kicked into overdrive at every level, from the bottom-feeding slugs at The Gateway Pundit to the White House itself, in a concentrated effort to tie this murder to Rivera’s status as an undocumented immigrant rather than focus on the real issue, which is the way that men of every race or legal status often respond to female rejection with violence.

However, Tibbetts’ family won’t have any of it. Refusing to let the heartwrenching loss of their beloved Mollie be exploited by cynical ideologues to justify a racist smear campaign, Tibbets’ family has taken to social media to make their voices heard and to implore the nation to honor her memory with peace and respect.

Tibbetts’ aunt, Billie Jo Calderwood, went on Facebook to share a beautiful photograph of Mollie and to remind the nation that the evil that killed Mollie is not a product of one’s legal status but a dark aspect of every human soul, no matter what color or race they might be from.

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Tibbetts’ second cousin, Sam, went viral this afternoon with a fiery response to right-wing astroturf propaganda outlet Turning Point USA’s Candace Owens for her astonishingly heartless attempt to downplay the horrendous cruelty of the Trump administration’s child separation family, which tore thousands of kids from their parents, by exploiting the death of Mollie Tibbetts.

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It should come as no surprise that throughout all the furor over the killing of Mollie Tibbetts, not a crocodile tear has been shed for the victims of a white Colorado father who recently murdered his pregnant wife and two girls in a fit of rage, proving that they care nothing for Mollie and nothing for her life beyond its use in their heinous political narrative.

It is sadly unsurprising but still appalling to see the right-wing immediately exploit this poor girl’s horrifying death as an excuse to justify their soft ethnic cleansing and incarceration regime against the millions of undocumented people who live and work in the United States in peace and harmony.

We join Mollie’s relatives in their mourning and in begging a divided nation to remember their lost loved one for who she is and not for what her death might represent.

Colin Taylor

Managing Editor

Colin Taylor is the managing editor of the Washington Press. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice, equality, and universal health care in America.

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