Let’s be clear, Mollie Tibbetts is not dead because of our border policies, no matter how many times Donald Trump makes that claim. Mollie Tibbetts is dead because a man felt entitled to follow her, approach her and then assault and murder her when she did not return his advance. This is about male violence against women – not immigration.
As a woman, I feel far more threatened by the white male conservatives in Washington, DC than I do by any illegal immigrant. White male conservatives spend every single day trying to take my rights away. They try to block women from having equal rights, they try to take away my right to choose, they threaten my health and well-being. They voted against the re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act. They are far more dangerous to women in this country than undocumented individuals.
When the news broke yesterday that a body had been found and presumed to be that of Mollie Tibbetts, my heart broke. Like most people, I tried not to give up hope that she’d somehow be found alive and reunited with her family, but the reality was that, like so many women, she died due to a violent confrontation with a male. Don’t blame his immigration status for his violence, as they have nothing to do with each other.
As soon as I learned that the suspect in custody, Cristhian Rivera, was an undocumented male from Mexico, I knew what was going to happen next. Trump supporters were going to use this to validate their irrational desire for a border wall. Immediately, in all the comments on all the news reports, one could see “build the wall” repeated endlessly. Donald Trump gave license to this kind of bigoted response the day his announced his candidacy for president and has never backed down. Contrary to the claims of Trump and his followers, illegals are less likely to commit crimes.
The fact is that Trump and his supporters are wrong in their desperate attempt to make this tragedy about immigration. He did not kill her because he’s here illegally. He killed her because, by his own words, he approached her and she rejected him. He then flew into a violent rage, murdered her and hid the body. He did not do this because he was an illegal. He did this, because like so many men, he couldn’t handle rejection.
Had he never come to America, most likely Rivera would have killed a different woman. I get the feeling that Trump and his supporters would not care about that, as she would be a brown-skinned woman and not a pretty white female. In fact, I wonder if they would care if he’d killed a brown-skinned woman in this country. Do not let anyone tell you that their ranting about immigration has anything to do with Mollie Tibbetts’ death. It is all an excuse for their hatred, bigotry and racism. The GOP and conservatives are a party of extreme hate – do not pretend otherwise. The only wall we need is around Trump and the other white male conservatives in Washington.
Wendy Luxenburg writes for Palmer Report