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Two young women were found dead by the side of a Florida road, but how will the public react to their murders?

A Tampa suburb was rocked after the bodies of Angelia Mangum, 19, and 18-year-old Tjhisha Ball were found hogtied by zipcords and lying on top of one another Thursday, WFTS reports.

The cause of their deaths is not clear as coroners are currently conducting an autopsy to find out what killed them. There’s no word from authorities on that front yet, but what has been swiftly reported is that both of the girls had been working as exotic dancers up until the day they were murdered. According to WFTS, they each had criminal records as well.

I state this to explain that before the details of their murder are thoroughly examined, these facts could call their character into question in the eyes of the public. Unless their decision to strip for a living directly played into their deaths, was it really necessary to state that about these girls?

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Authorities don’t know whether their jobs resulted in their deaths at this point, so this just serves to draw attention away from the fact two women were murdered and thrown out like so much trash on the side of the road. It’s a fate that no one deserves.

The other question here is, given their profession, will the public be sympathetic to them in their death? Society tends to have this split mind about strippers, simultaneously looking down on them for being strippers while secretly aspiring to own their sexuality in the same way these women seemingly do. If there wasn’t some part of women that wanted to let their inner vixen out (at least for a few minutes), pole dancing classes wouldn’t be so huge.

And let’s not lose sight of the fact that the cops still haven’t caught the person or people who murdered them. There’s now a state-wide manhunt for any connected with this killing, but that seems to a minor detail to reporters that haven’t specified what authorities are doing to catch the guilty party.

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Aside from that I’m left to wonder if this heinous crime will get as much attention (or garner as strong of a reaction) as other killings have in the last few months.

This summer, the Black community had very strong reactions to the murders of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, who both died at the hands of police. Their deaths sparked national outrage, marches, policy changes, even riots. Sadly, there wasn’t as much attention given the death of Renisha McBride, who was gunned down while asking Timothy Wafer for help.

If a murder is going to gain attention and compel people to action, our track record makes it seem as though a victimized Black man is usually at the center of the case. Hopefully, this Angelia and Tjhisha’s case will be an exception to that rule.


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Two Black Teens Found Dead & Media Is Focusing On The Wrong Things!  was originally published on