Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Enough August 24, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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I EXPECTED IT. As soon as I read that the suspect in the murder of small town Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts is an alleged illegal immigrant, I knew this would become a political issue. I knew, too, that the venom of hatred in this country would strike like a coiled snake.

From the President to too many politicians (including right here in Minnesota) to everyday Americans, the poison is spreading. A young woman is dead and that seems to have been lost in the spewing of anger and hatred and pushing an agenda for immigration reform.


Beyond that, the family which operates Yarrabee Farms, where the suspect was employed, is receiving death threats, threats to burn down their buildings, even threats to kill their dog.


What has happened to common decency in this country? What has happened to respect for a grieving family? What has happened to the ability to see crime as crime and not something linked to an individual’s skin color or residency status?

I know there are those who will disagree with me, who will jump all over this post and argue. But, because this is my personal blog, I will not give hatred a platform. I choose to honor Mollie.

In the words of Yarrabee Farms co-owner Craig Lang, also a Republican candidate for Iowa Secretary of Agriculture this summer: “…now is not the time to discuss immigration.”

Now is the time to respect a family and community which are grieving. They, and Mollie, deserve more than the politicization of her death.


NOTE: I moderate all comments. I decide what publishes here.

© Copyright 2018 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


44 Responses to “Enough”

  1. Sandra Van Erp Says:

    Yes, what’s happening is a new low. For those having done family research, from any of the melting pots of this country, during various decades, we know the conditions were not all sweet and kind. Without the news spin and its wide reach, any backlashes stayed at the local levels. I’ve read papers from the late 1800s, early 1900s from NY, Milwaukee, even southern MN, all was not calm and kind with the immigrants and locals, which were immigrants themselves! A different time. Different country. Different world, actually. Thank you for doing your part to keep it reined in.

  2. Amen to honoring Mollie and sending prayers to the family.

    We have 1, then 2 and now 3 Stand Your Ground cases going on down here and to me it is cowardly to stand behind that when you blatantly took someone’s life because you saw red and had the agenda to take a life. Then my former co-worker lost her husband a few months back due to someone driving along that could not stand to see a family out enjoying the day and mowed them down by going off the road and up onto the bike trail.

    It saddens me and I try to wrap my head around such hatred and at times cannot. Then the victim gets lost in all the hoopla.

    Here’s to sharing and spreading some love and kindness 🙂

    • I am so sorry about your former co-worker losing her husband in such an awful way.

      I agree with you on the Stand Your Ground issue, although I certainly don’t know as much about it as you. But, yes, it seems to give an “excuse” to commit violence.

      We just can’t give up. We need to continue to love and show kindness and compassion. And I see that all the time in your words. Thank you for your commitment to make this a much better world.

  3. Colleen Hondl Gengler Says:

    My thoughts exactly. As soon as I heard who had been charged, I thought some people and/or groups are going to latch on to that and not in a good way.

  4. Loretta Schroeder Says:

    You are spot on…thank you for honoring Mollie and leaving political rhetoric out of your blog!

  5. Liz Says:

    Very well said, Audrey!

  6. jhc1218 Says:

    I had a similar reaction when I heard about his immigration status. Mollie’s aunt spoke to CNN stating “I don’t want Mollie’s memory to get lost amongst politics” https://abc7.com/mollie-tibbetts-aunt-doesnt-want-victim-lost-in-debate/4018080/
    Let’s remember the victims of violence including Shannen, Belle and Celeste Watts. This isn’t about border security, this is about male violence against women. Evil is everywhere.

  7. Norma Says:

    Yes Audrey. I had the same reaction as you. Our politicians seem to enjoy saying ” See, I told you so”. When did we become such a hateful nation? God bless Mollie’s family.

  8. I agree wholeheartedly!! The racial divide in this country is higher than it’s been in decades. Everyone seems to pounce on another reason to spit venom at each other! The passing of a lovely young woman is not the time or place. We should be honoring the memory of this precious life lost. Bless you, for speaking out on this.

  9. Sheri Eichhorn Says:

    God bless you, Audrey, for bringing this to the forefront. That poor family. It would be beyond painful to deal with the loss of Mollie in that way, but to politicize it for political gain is so shameful. And, one immigrant committing this heinous crime does not mean other immigrants will.

    There is far too much hatred in this country today, and it breaks my heart. Dalai Lama just recently wrote a book called “An Appeal to the World.” It is a simple little book addressing the problems we are facing today, and it urges communication instead of anger and hateful rhetoric. We all need to “be the change we want to see.”

    • Reading all these comments here today, like yours, gives me hope. I’ve only had to send one comment to trash thus far. And I hope it stays that way. I appreciate the positivity and love and compassion of so many who are voicing their thoughts.

  10. I wholeheartedly agree this is not the time to push a political agenda. My heart and prayers are for Mollie’s family and friends during this horrendous and senseless time of grief and loss.

  11. valeriebollinger Says:

    I agree with you Audrey. We need to focus on the suffering family…and not on the suspect. I cringe thinking of all the negativity towards people that are different than us.

  12. Caryl Larson Says:

    It irritates me that this happens and certain people cry for the “Wall” and immigration policy. But a white man shoots 58 people in Las Vegas and these same people won’t cry for “gun control”. I just don’t get it.

  13. Rachel Eggleston Says:

    Well said … my first thought when such things as this begin is always “I wish we still had Mr. Rogers in our world.” Such a gentle, kind soul who made such an impact. I know there are plenty of people like him still in our world but they lack the platform he had. I like looking for those people and celebrating them!

    Mollie’s family needs so much support as does the family who owns the farm that is now receiving such awful threats.

    • Rachel, we can all choose to be “Mr. Rogers,” just as you are doing here today with your thoughtful and caring comment. Our voices matter and I appreciate all who have reaffirmed for me today that compassion and care still exist in this crazy world.

  14. It’s terrible what happened. I think girls (or anyone) should not run by themselves and in the evening. It’s taking a chance these days.

  15. Gunny Says:

    Audrey, I can agree with you that this has become a political stomping ground. On the other hand, I am offended that Mollie’s cousin has stated this is a case of “Toxic Masculinity”. Really? And this is not “politicalizing” it. (Domestic Violence)

    Some children’s Library Society has now claimed that the Little House on the Prairie books are racist due to the use of the word “darky” to identify African Americans and that the family at some point had problems with (Native American) Indians. Really?

    Moorhead, MN is going to cast a statue to a Black Union Civil War Soldier. Ok! I can get behind that – but then why are people tearing down and hiding Confederate statues (which they aren’t putting up in Minnesota).

    And to Carol’s and your question: YOU ladies have the right to self defense. If you choose not to exercise that right – that is up to you! No one complained when a black officer shot a white woman in Minneapolis except Australia? But Black Lives Matter takes to the streets (and Interstate) when a drugged black man with a “legal” gun is shot by a white police officer. It is a Federal offense to use drugs and then lying about it to obtain a firearm.

    My hero was Captain Kangaroo! (he was a WWII Marine who earned the Navy Cross). Love the guy.

    There is always two sides of every story. Las Vegas and the Current New Mexico story we are not being given all the facts. Reporters failed to tell that the illegal alien rushing his pregnant wife to the hospital for a C-Section was wanted for murder in Mexico.

    To Mollie’s family, my heart hurts, to the rest of her family and to the rest who jog on the highways and byways to school, grocery shopping or whatever, my concerns is for their immediate and future safety.

    There are those who want to disarm Americans who have been given a background check but give a pass to an illegal alien who hasn’t. Not sure I understand that logic.

    In any case, I am looking forward to my next trip to Minnesota and I pray that God blesses you all with safety for you and yours.

    Audrey, this is your forum. Don’t like what I say, you have every right to delete my post. I do try to answer some questions that some others have posted. I try to be civil but then again I am the “other side of the coin”.

    May God Bless and keep you all.

    • Gunny, thank you for being respectful in your comment. I appreciate that. Not all readers have exercised such decency and those comments I’ve not published. As you know, we will have to choose to disagree on some issues. But that’s part of the blessing of living in a still free country.

      I just wanted to add one footnote, though, on the shooting of Justine. Many Minnesotans have been upset by the shooting of an Australian citizen by a Minneapolis police officer. They’ve protested it and discussed it and held vigils. Minnesota reaction has been well-covered by the media here. This continues to be a major news story in our state.

  16. sheketechad Says:

    Try to remember this: For everyone of those yammering out hatred, there are one or more of us who don’t buy it. We are just quieter than the extremes on both sides. Every single one of us can make a difference each day with anyone we come into contact with, not just in a voting booth.
    How sad that Mollie’s family, like Seth Rich’s family, are being used to sell hatred of others, and so many normal appearing people are buying it – more than I ever thought possible.

    I’ve had enough of so much, but for decency’s sake (is there any decency any more?), let this family grieve and mourn without fighting other battle fronts on behalf of their deceased child! Kudos to you for shining light on this, Audrey.

    • This is the part of your comment which particularly struck me:

      How sad that Mollie’s family, like Seth Rich’s family, are being used to sell hatred of others, and so many normal appearing people are buying it – more than I ever thought possible.

      “…so many normal people are buying it” that’s the part that scares me.

  17. Littlesundog Says:

    I thought Elizabeth Warren’s comment was the real low point. The media and a lot of loud mouths seem to forget there is a grieving family who needs and deserves caring and compassion during this time. There will be time to consider all things, but this family needs to be embraced right now with love and support.

  18. Jackie Says:

    Murder is murder! It’s horrible act of crime! The victim was an innocent young lady this time. My heart goes out to her family! This horrible man could have been any race or any color….I agree with you, now is not the time to bring in politics. Lets focus on this family who needs our support and prayers.

  19. Missy's Crafty Mess Says:

    My heart goes out to the family.

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