Stop With the Politicization of Mollie Tibbetts' Death

A poster for missing University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts hangs in the window of a local business, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018, in Brooklyn, Iowa. Tibbetts was reported missing from her hometown in the eastern Iowa city of Brooklyn in July 2018. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

In times of crisis, it is best to turn your eyes away from social media as news spreads and various hot takes explode across the Internet.

After mass shootings, gun grabbers will burst onto the scene and explain how weapons are evil. Conversely, pro-2A Americans remind us of our long-established rights while sometimes forgetting the high cost associated with any human tragedy.

When the innocent are targeted, people will always react. Naturally, these responses are tainted with individual experiences, prejudices, opinions, and concerns. None of it is surprising.

From what her family has said, Mollie Tibbetts was as regular a person as anyone else. And that, according to her brother Jake, is what stands out.

“We’re going to miss her dearly but, to be honest, what made her so special is she was just like anyone standing here. She loved to run. She loved Harry Potter. She loved the hawks. She loved her family. She was goofy. She was clumsy,” Jake Tibbetts said.

It is too easy to view a stranger whose life has been taken by highly publicized violence as an almost mythical figure. We know they existed but have not any tangible experiences to draw from when discussing them. To her family and friends, Mollie was an integral, everyday part of their lives. She was a person with strengths and weaknesses. She was a young college student in the Midwest. She experienced joy, anger, sadness, happiness, love, concern, and delight.

During a run in mid-July, she experienced danger, extreme fear, and pain at the hands of a monster who ultimately took her life. Mollie was a human being who had her own plans, hopes, and dreams. Devastatingly, that was all taken away.

The two sides at war over her memory are doing more harm than good. Instead of expressing sadness and letting the family be, too many are choosing to politicize her murder. This tendency must stop.

Tibbetts’ killer is an illegal alien who has been in the country for several years. Though he has no prior criminal history, he committed a vicious, evil act. Somehow, in all the years living in the United States, he has never been held accountable for the illegality of his residency. Clearly, the laws need to change when it comes to immigration. Those wishing to live in the U.S. must follow the proper procedures. We are a nation of immigrants, yes, but it is also important that we remain concerned about the safety of our citizens and our national security.

But being an immigrant, even an illegal one, is not what made him do it. Mollie didn’t die because he hadn’t gone through the proper channels to become a citizen. We must remember the following:

…research shows that immigrants, including those in the country illegally, are actually less prone to commit crimes than American citizens.

Would you be as concerned about her death if her suspected killer was a born and bred American who looked more like what you see in the mirror? It’s a question worth asking.

Tibbetts’ death isn’t the reason why immigration needs to be addressed.

On the other hand, we have individuals like Senator Elizabeth Warren who dismiss Tibbetts’ murder because, well, there are other things, “real problems”, that are more important. This is also revolting.

In the same vein of Leftist nonsense, we have this.

https://twitter.com/SymoneDSanders/status/1032353328204836864

Instead of saying one man is at fault, all men are at fault! Using Mollie Tibbetts’ untimely death as a convenient tool with which to project your hatred of masculinity is utterly asinine, not to mention disrespectful to a grieving family.

As you can tell, the problem of politicization spreads across the political spectrum. No, it’s not just the GOP who are angrily calling for tighter immigration policy. No, it’s not just the Democrats and those of like-mind who believe the humanity of the victim should be shoved aside in favor of a narrative that condemns all.

Of course, any time you mention, “Hey, just let the family mourn in peace”, you get angry accusations from all sides. It’s always more the fault of the other crowd than it is yours. Then again, this is 2018 and we’re still floating lazily in a world where binary mindsets rule the day and taking a long, hard look at yourself and your allies is near impossible. But it must be done.

I wish I had never heard of Mollie Tibbetts. I wish she was just beginning her new semester at the University of Iowa and doing all the things that twenty-year-olds do. I wish she was figuring out what to do for fun with friends this weekend.

But because of the actions of one individual, who represents neither all illegal immigrants nor all men, she is dead.

Why don’t we give the family room and just let her be?

Kimberly Ross is a senior contributor at RedState and a contributor to the Washington Examiner’s Beltway Confidential blog. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.