It's a pain no parent ever wants to experience: the death of your child. It's an unimaginably raw, keening kind of grief.
Now imagine having to go through that grief while racists exploit your pain and your beloved child's death to score some cheap political points.
Welcome to Rob Tibbett's world.
When his daughter Mollie went missing after not returning from a run, Rob Tibbetts held out hope that she would return safe. That hope was quashed a month later when surveillance footage showed Mollie being followed by a truck. The owner of the truck was taken into custody and eventually led the police to her body. The suspect was then arrested and charged with first degree murder. The suspect, Cristhian Bahena Rivera, was born in Mexico, and initial reports were that he was in the country illegally.
And that's all it took for white nationalists to grab the story and use it to paint all immigrants, especially those with brown or black skin, as just waiting to hurt our pretty white daughters.
The clamor continued to snowball, thanks to conspiracy theorists, especially in online forums. It's gotten so loud that Rob Tibbetts, who has just had to bury his daughter, had to write an op-ed demanding that these putzes stop exploiting his family's tragedy to push racist views.
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.”
Make no mistake, Mollie was my daughter and my best friend. At her eulogy, I said Mollie was nobody’s victim. Nor is she a pawn in others’ debate. She may not be able to speak for herself, but I can and will. Please leave us out of your debate. Allow us to grieve in privacy and with dignity. At long last, show some decency. On behalf of my family and Mollie’s memory, I’m imploring you to stop.
The whole op-ed is heartwrenching. And it's simply disgusting that he felt it necessary to do. But that's exactly how it is to live in TrumpWorld where white nationalists are platformed.