Sunday, September 2, 2018
Katie Metler has a fascinating article in the Washington Post about Brooklyn, Iowa's reaction to the efforts to politicize the death of Mollie Tibbetts, who was allegedly killed by an undocumented immigrant. Friends and family say that Mollie, who was liberal, would have been angered by President Trump's speech seeking to use her death to build support for immigration enforcement.
Brooklyn is a farm town, named after two brooks that it lies between. "Immigrant families have been drawn here by the work opportunities in the meatpacking industry, on construction crews and as farmhands. The Latino population in town has grown steadily since 2000, yet it still makes up just 2.3 percent of the population. Brooklyn’s Latino residents say they have felt welcome in this town, which sits halfway between Iowa City and Des Moines along Interstate 80, but there have been subtle tensions. Language barriers create some separation, and there are cultural disconnects: In Mexico, quinceañeras are a community affair. Here, they are not."
Mollie Tibbetts' father, Rob Tibbetts, published an opinion piece in the Des Moines Register denouncing those who have “chosen to callously distort and corrupt Mollie’s tragic death to advance a cause she vehemently opposed.” He criticized politicians and pundits who would not honor the Tibbetts' family wishes to not make her death an issue about immigration:
"They have instead chosen to callously distort and corrupt Mollie’s tragic death to advance a cause she vehemently opposed. I encourage the debate on immigration; there is great merit in its reasonable outcome. But do not appropriate Mollie’s soul in advancing views she believed were profoundly racist. The act grievously extends the crime that stole Mollie from our family and is, to quote Donald Trump Jr.,`heartless' and `despicable.'”