The family of murdered University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts laid their daughter to rest this weekend. Her father, Rob Tibbetts, gave a heartbreaking eulogy for his beloved Mollie and used the opportunity to try to heal some of the wounds that President Trump and the right-wing propaganda machine are viciously trying to infect with their toxic xenophobia.
Tibbetts was murdered by an undocumented immigrant after she refused his advances while on a jog, which the Trump administration has seized on as an excuse to demonize all Hispanic immigrants as dangerous killers in disturbing propaganda videos distributed through official White House channels.
So it was very fitting that Rob Tibbetts devoted a small part of his eulogy to making it clear that he and his family did not blame Hispanics for their daughter’s death and thanking the local immigrant community that has embraced him during his time of grief.
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“The Hispanic community are Iowans. They have the same values as Iowans,” he said, reportedly emphasizing their devotion to their families.
“As far as I’m concerned, they’re Iowans with better food…Today, we need to turn the page. We’re at the end of a long ordeal. But we need to turn toward life — Mollie’s life — because Mollie’s nobody’s victim. Mollie’s my hero.”
The stories told by her family members and by the community during the celebration of Mollie’s life quickly made it clear that the loving and generous Mollie, who was studying to become a child psychologist, would have been appalled at the President and his cronies’ exploitation of her death.
It’s wonderful to see the Tibbetts’ family overcome their grief to make it clear to the entire nation that they don’t condone the President’s racist fearmongering, to honor her memory rather than tarnish it with malignant emotions.
The president could stand to learn a serious lesson from the Tibbetts family.