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EDITORIAL: Ignore Trump and listen to a grieving aunt: ‘Evil comes in every color’

In this file photo, a poster for missing University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts hangs in the window of a local business in Brooklyn, Iowa. An undocumented immigrant has been charged with her murder.
| AP Photo by Charlie Neibergall

In Ogletown, Delaware, Rachel Roberts was at her mom’s apartment when her ex-boyfriend, Probyn Morris, forced his way in and shot her to death.

In suburban Denver, a pregnant Shanann Watts allegedly was shot dead by her husband, Christopher.

In Baton Rouge, Louisiana, a nurse named Gabrielle Bessix was running away from ex-boyfriend, Broderick Edwards, when he started shooting. He allegedly killed her and injured one of her friends.

In Philadelphia, Linda Rios-Neuby, who worked at City Hall, got into a heated argument with her estranged husband, Haywood Neuby Jr., who allegedly shot and killed her.


All of these women were killed in the last two weeks. And their alleged killers were all homegrown men — not an illegal immigrant in the bunch.

We could list thousands more. Every two weeks, about 650 people are killed in the United States, and most of their killers were born right here in the USA.

We’re still waiting on Donald Trump to speak out about such murders. He has railed this week about the kidnapping and murder of a University of Iowa college student, Mollie Tibbetts. But he hasn’t said a word about alleged killers like Morris and Edwards and Neuby.

Why wouldn’t the president talk about all of these horrific crimes?

Because Trump, obviously, is trying to demonize all undocumented immigrants — folks who came here, yes, illegally — as violent criminals by pounding away at the story of one undocumented immigrant in Iowa accused of murder.

Our president wants to spook you. He wants you to believe the exception is the rule. He is happy to encourage you to hate.

Christopher Watts lived in suburban Denver, but we’re pretty sure most suburban Denver men are not about to kill their wives. He worked for an oil company, but we’re pretty sure men who work for oil companies are not disproportionately killers.

The truth Trump wants to obscure in his xenophobic rants about Tibbetts’ accused killer is this: Disgruntled former boyfriends and estranged husbands are far more likely than immigrant strangers — legal residents or not — to be the killers of women in America.

Undocumented immigrants like Cristhian Bahena Rivera, now charged with killing Tibbetts, are far less likely to commit any crime than people who were born and raised here.

Let’s look at some numbers.

A 2017 report from the Centers for Disease Control, based on an examination of 11 years of data on more than 10,000 murders, concluded that more than 55 percent of all female murder victims are killed by intimate partners — and 98 percent of the time those partners are men.

A Justice Department analysis of prison data found that while more than 13 percent of the U.S. population is foreign-born, only 5.6 percent of inmates in federal, state and local prisons are foreign-born.

An analysis of Census data from the libertarian Cato Institute found that immigrants — both legal and illegal — are less likely to be incarcerated than native-born Americans compared to their share of the population.

The incarceration rate for native-born Americans is 1.53 percent, Cato found, compared to just 0.85 percent for undocumented immigrants. And that already low rate fell to just 0.5 percent when Cato’s researchers excluded immigrants held in custody for immigration violations.

You won’t hear a word of this from Trump. Or from Fox News, our president’s daily tutor in immigrant-bashing. Or from a Republican Party that hopes to ride demagoguery to victory in the November elections.

It’s all so hateful and tiresome.

We would rather read, instead, what Mollie Tibbetts’ aunt, Billie Jo Calderwood, wrote Tuesday on Facebook:

“Please remember, evil comes in EVERY color.”

We would rather hear what she had to say Thursday on CNN:

“I don’t want Mollie’s memory to get lost amongst politics.”

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