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DES MOINES, IA (CBSMiami) – The father of Mollie Tibbetts, the University of Iowa student found dead last month, says attempts to use the killing to promote an anti-immigrant agenda are heartless, despicable and shameful.
In an opinion piece in The Des Moines Register, Rob Tibbetts wrote, “please leave us out of your debate. Allow us to grieve in privacy and with dignity.”
He also said those exploiting her death hold views Mollie considered “profoundly racist.” Tibbets said his daughter would want people to turn away from “venal and petty impulses” and work toward harmony.
“To knowingly foment discord among races is a disgrace to our flag,” He wrote in the Register. “It incites fear in innocent communities and lends legitimacy to the darkest, most hate-filled corners of the American soul.”
An undocumented Mexican immigrant has been charged with Mollie Tibbett’s murder. Before her body was found August 21st, Rob Tibbetts said in an interview with CBS News that he and his daughter shared an unbreakable bond.
“She was the best man at my wedding,” he said. “She gave an unbelievable toast. She told me I was her best friend.”
In the Register, Tibbetts said he has a stepdaughter and grandsons who are Latino whom Mollie loved dearly.
“That means I am Hispanic. I am African. I am Asian. I am European,” Tibbetts wrote. “My blood runs from every corner of the Earth because I am American.”
His op-ed was published the day after the same newspaper printed an opinion piece by Donald Trump Jr., the President’s son, blamed Democrats and lax border policies for Tibbet’s death, a position echoed by the president.
Last week, Iowa residents, including Tibbetts, received a robocall purporting to be from a white nationalist group calling for all Mexicans to be deported.
Tibbetts urges all Americans to “,,,turn against racism in all its ugly manifestations both subtle and overt. Let’s listen, not shout. Let’s build bridges, not walls.”