On Tuesday, August 21st, Christhian Rivera confessed guilty to following and abducting Mollie Tibbetts.
Tibbetts was a college student at the University of Iowa studying psychology. She was out for a jog when Rivera followed her in his car. Evidence strongly suggests he murdered her and dumped her body in a nearby cornfield. His trial continues on Thursday, August 31st.
It took no time at all for the White House to use this crime to justify harsher and stricter immigration laws. The White House tweeted: "The loss of Mollie Tibbetts is a devastating reminder that we must urgently fix our broken immigration laws."
I'm not exactly surprised the White House took this stance, but I am deeply saddened.
This is vile rhetoric. They are generalizing a giant mass of people who need our help just because one man committed a crime. Tell me, President Trump, are the children you have in cages criminals? Are their grieving mothers animals?
If the White House can claim all undocumented immigrants are criminals, can I say that all ICE agents are murderers? After all, 74 people died in the detention centers between March 2010 and June 2018.
Of course not. I cannot generalize every ICE agent because a nurse "didn't want to get sick" and refused to treat patients. This is an illogical statement.
If I can't generalize, why can our president?
Why can he say all immigrants are criminals when there are no facts to support this?
Undocumented immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than natural born citizens. The belief that all undocumented immigrants are criminals is a generalization that is not supported by facts. Yet, it is a belief the White House seems to have adopted.
I think we know why.
I am extremely sick and tired of the White House cherry picking which logic they want to follow. Nazis marched in South Carolina and killed Heather Heyer, yet they were "fine people on both sides." Where were their generalizations then? Why didn't Trump denounce the Nazis and say we need stricter civil rights laws?
Again, I think we know why.
This is dangerous language. The White House immediately demonizing immigrants while excusing white nationalists is dangerous. Immigrants are people. They're people who left their home to try and improve their lives by coming to the United States. They are not animals. They do not come here specifically to commit crimes. These claims influence and foster a growing yet baseless animosity that can, and already has, hurt real people.
Do not let the White House dehumanize these people in your eyes. Do not let their hateful rhetoric convince you that they do not need our help.
What happened to Mollie Tibbetts was tragic. She did not deserve to die. But immigrants as a whole do not deserve to be labeled "criminals" just because one man committed a heinous crime.
Rivera took an innocent girl's life. That is unforgivable. I am not saying this crime is something to be ignored, or that Rivera is innocent.
I am saying that people need to stop lumping a whole mass of people in with one singular person. Those who do are incorrect. Those who do generalize, despite knowing the facts, are racist. Plain and simple.