Rape and Murder in the Heartland

Editor’s note: This is a scanned version of a very prescient article written in 2001 by Nelson Rosit about the 1999 murder of Cally Jo Larson, a case that is sadly similar to the recent case of Mollie Tibbetts. Obvoiusly, this has been going on for a long time. As Rosit notes, anticipating the findings of sociologist Robert Putnam (2007), the result is less trust and less involvement with the community. He also lays the blame ultimately on your hostile elites: “The political and economic elites have told these small Midwestern towns that they have no choice but to become part of the global system or die; while the mass media continually promotes the idea of an inescapable multiracial, multicultural future for America that will be better for everyone.” As now, the citizens of Waseca did not mention race or immigration status in their comments. But because Donald Trump is president and because race has come to dominate all our discussions, it has been raised in the case of Mollie Tibbetts, with inevitable backlash from the mainstream media (and Tibbetts’s family). I suppose that’s progress, but obviously we still have a long way to go before Americans can rightly be outraged by events like the rapes and murders of Cally Jo and Mollie. And do what needs to be done.



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