Did Mollie Tibbets’ death deserve the news coverage it received


Screenshot of WhiteHouse

Caraline Anderson, Opinions Editor

On August 21st, 2018, news came out that after having been missing for a month, college student Mollie Tibbetts was found dead in an Iowa corn field.


Approximately 6,000 people die in the United States every year, but national news chose to cover the story of Mollie Tibbets because the main suspect in her murder case was an illegal immigrant. Unsurprisingly, Republican politicians had a field day. 


Ever since he decided to run for president, President Trump’s political campaign has been filled with racism and disdain towards illegal immigrants. This murder case only added fuel to his attack on Hispanic and Latino persons attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally. Vice President Pence tweeted shortly after Tibbets’ killer had been identified, “We commend the swift action by local, state, & federal investigators working in Iowa in apprehending an illegal immigrant, who’s now charged with first-degree murder. Now, justice will be served…” Trump then claimed, “We’ve had a huge impact but the laws are so bad…The immigration laws are such a disgrace. We’re getting them changed, but we have to get more Republicans.” Although the Vice President was able to voice his opinion with much more tact than President Trump, the sentiment behind both of their words remain polluted with ulterior motives.


This instance is only one happening of a murder committed by an undocumented immigrant. In proportion to the number of undocumented immigrants in our country, they aren’t committing an abhorrent amount of crimes. White people continue to take credit for the highest percentage of crime committed in the U.S. compared to any other racial group. In fact, at the same time as the Mollie Tibbets case, a Colorado man named Chris Watts was accused of murdering his pregnant wife and their three children. But that story faded into the background as the President and his loyal Republicans disguised their racism as a legitimate concern for the future of our country.


Mr. President, what about the white boys shooting up schools? What about Neo-Nazis terrorizing Charlottesville? What about the immigrant children you are stealing from parents?


As has been the theme during Trump’s presidency, he isn’t concerned with being fair. He’s concerned with getting what he wants. Blaming a collective for the crimes of one not only displays the skewed values of the President and the Republican party but also disrespects Mollie Tibbets’ life and memory. She is worth much more than some pathetic political stance.