As the executive director of a butterfly sanctuary, one might think that Marianna Trevino-Wright’s days are filled with peace and tranquility. And perhaps that was the case until she made an enemy of Donald Trump when she protested the former administration’s plans to bulldoze right through her property with their long-promised border wall. Now, dealing with MAGA die-hards and QAnon-like conspiracy theorists is all in a day’s work.
As the Daily Beast reports, Wright is the executive director of the National Butterfly Center in the border city of Mission, Texas. Though firmly planted in the United States, this wildlife sanctuary became the topic of much debate during Trump’s days in office, as his proposed border wall would have bisected the 100-acre property. After filing a restraining order against the project in 2019, Wright and the Butterfly Center have become a favorite target for harassment by far-right groups like Brian Kolfage’s “We Build the Wall” campaign. Though Kolfage was permanently suspended from Twitter a while back, he at one point sent more than two dozen tweets disparaging the sanctuary, which he claimed “openly supports illegal immigration and sex trafficking of women and children.”
Brian Kolfage has launched a smear campaign against a butterfly sanctuary caught in the path of his border wall, leaving the group flooded with “harassing messages.” https://t.co/mA4sUQF4W9
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) November 25, 2019
In the years since, Wright has unfortunately grown accustomed to unwanted visits from people like Kimberly Lowe, a conspiracy theory-abiding congressional candidate from Virginia, who the Daily Beast reports showed attempted to push her way onto Wright’s private property last week so that she and a woman identified only as “Michelle” could go see the “illegals crossing on rafts.”
The women tried to bypass Wright’s son to force their way onto the property, which is when Wright got a call about the visitors. When Wright herself confronted the women, telling them that “You are here to promote your agenda, and your agenda is not welcome here,” what transpired was… bizarre.
Lowe, who had been broadcasting their visit to the facility in now-deleted Facebook Live videos, asked Wright: “So you’re not for helping all these poor people in the humanitarian crisis? You’re OK with children being sex trafficked and raped and murdered.” When Wright again informed the pair that they were trespassing on private property and asked them to leave, “Michelle”—like something out of a terrible Bond spec script no one asked for—tells Wright that “I’m federal—I work for Secret Service, so nothing is off-limit for me.”
Wright could not help but laugh at this, and who can blame her?
The Daily Beast obtained a copy of the increasingly unhinged audio, which you can listen to here.
URGENT NOTICE! National Butterfly Center CLOSED Jan 28-30 due to credible threats. Please read more & SHARE here: https://t.co/joMfYz4Zya
— National Butterfly (@NatButterflies) January 27, 2022
Meanwhile, Wright and her colleagues have decided to close the Butterfly Center from today through Sunday due to a credible threat against the center because of a We Stand America event that is intent on taking a field trip to the border. Wright was advised that “she should be armed at all times or out of town” as the events on the group’s agenda include “a ‘Trump Train’-style caravan to the border.”
Butterfly sanctuaries are the new pizza parlors.
(Via Daily Beast)