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No troll, no MRA Open Thread for discussion of the murders of Angelia Magnum and Tjhisha Ball

Angelia Magnum and Tjhisha Ball
Angelia Magnum and Tjhisha Ball

An open thread for discussion of the murders of sex workers Angelia Magnum and Tjhisha Ball in Jacksonville, as well as any other topics that might benefit from having no interruptions from misogynist trolls, victim-blamers and other derailers.

Needless to say, this is a no troll, no MRA, no victim-blamer thread; bans will be handed out freely to anyone who violates this rule.

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samantha
5 years ago

I just read the article that you linked to above. I am horrified that these young women and their murders are being treated as if they “deserved” what they got. This nightmarish monstrosity is made even worse by the racist cruelty of both the killers and the media/public that acts as though the young women somehow are the criminals themselves.

Great country, where you are a criminal for being female and even worse for being BLACK while being female. I feel sick. There is an evil rot working in the heart and soul of humanity, and right now it looks as though it is winning.

What can we do to stop this? I ask this and I am really looking for answers/suggestions.

cloudiah
5 years ago

This really struck me from the Gradient Lair post:

It is devastating to me that the post-mortem media violence (i.e. most of the few media outlets that reported the story are using their old mugshots

Two young women are murdered, and are literally portrayed as criminals by the media. No thought for their loved ones at all.

vraydar
5 years ago

I felt that story in my bones. My thoughts are with the family & friends of Angelia & Tjhisha. I can only imagine, given the murders and the victim blaming, what they’re going through. This is heart breaking on so manny levels.

Kevin K
Kevin K
5 years ago

Serial killers that target prostitutes count on the police not caring enough about them to investigate their murders.

Falconer
5 years ago

This is horrible news.

I wish their families all the best, and I hope the killer(s) are brought to justice swiftly.

But they probably won’t be.

greyskye
greyskye
5 years ago

These two poor girls… my heart breaks for their families. Nothing anyone could do would “deserve” such a terrible death, the fact that the media and people are suggesting so is disgusting and shameful.

Puddleglum
5 years ago

This is so sad, must not cry at work…

ikanreed
ikanreed
5 years ago

This is part of why serial killers frequently targeted prostitutes. Society would just let them get away with it, because no one cared.

samantha
5 years ago
Reply to  greyskye

These two poor girls… my heart breaks for their families. Nothing anyone could do would “deserve” such a terrible death, the fact that the media and people are suggesting so is disgusting and shameful.

I could not agree more. Sad thing is that women, regardless of race or sexual orientation, are almost always thought to deserve whatever they get. For women with darker skin, it is ramped up to even more grotesque levels.

I am a mother, and I cannot – and shy away from – even imagining what the parents of Angelia and Tjhisha are going through right now. I hope, with all my heart, that they have a wide circle of friends and family to support them.

funkykingston
funkykingston
5 years ago

Two young women are murdered, and are literally portrayed as criminals by the media. No thought for their loved ones at all.

Makes me think of this:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/14/media-black-victims_n_5673291.html

Master of the Boot
Master of the Boot
5 years ago

More death and pain, legacy of Jim crow. The only way to try and turn the tide is to keep talking about incidents like this and never be complacent or neutral in the ongoing war of women and POC

samantha
5 years ago

The more I think about this, the more troubled and angry I find myself. On the one hand, we are supposed to be sexual for men. On the other hand, though, when we are, and ESPECIALLY when we are the ones who profit monetarily from being sexual, we are punished and, sometimes, killed for it.

I am sick and tired of the lives of my gender being treated as if we are through-away commodities. I am sick and tired of the young women, around the world, having their lives, hopes and dreams shattered by men who Don’t.Even.See.Us.

Sorry for ranting. I have to go cry and scream a little now.

NonServiam
5 years ago

My heart really goes out to their families and friends. What an awful, awful situation.

AK
AK
5 years ago

The fact that the media is using their mugshots is really upsetting to me. The only other time I’ve seen that for people who are in the news as victims is occasionally with lost or missing persons, if that’s the only recent picture available. In that case, it makes sense. In this case, no. IF they couldn’t track down a more recent photo (which obviously isn’t the case, given the photos on this very post), then the better option would be to just not run one. They’re victims here; while I think it’s important to humanize victims of violence especially when they’re from marginalized communities, we also don’t really need to know what they look like and plenty of murders are reported on without including pictures of the victims.

leftwingfox
5 years ago

AK, I agree completely. Even relatively liberal spaces can tend to get bloodthirsty in calls for justice, and callous in the treatment of convicts. Using mugshots of the victims is an open invitation to the worst instincts of people. The media needs to be held responsible for this.

My deepest sympathies to their families. I hope the police take the violence against these women seriously. (An admittedly thin hope, given the region…)

Shaun DarthBatman Day
5 years ago

So how do we make the media accountable for their criminalisation and minimisation of murdered POC? The fact is that we don’t hear about these murders *until* POC are screaming them at us. This is where “solidarity is for white women” comes from. On one hand we don’t hear the stories about black people, and on the other, when we do hear, the facts are so twisted it’s almost impossible to make sense out of them.

I also want to know *why* the media feels empowered to systematically do this specifically to POC, and I am including First Nations in that. The only reason we even talk about missing and murdered First Nations women in Canada is Pickton. Thousands of women are dead unremarked because they are WOC and/or sex workers, and men are literally getting away with murder. If our media is based on the expectation of what we want to know and see, how do we let them know that our expectations have evolved?

John Strycharz
John Strycharz
5 years ago

I recently saw Nick Broomfield’s new film Tales of the Grim Sleeper, about the serial killer Lonnie Franklin. He raped and murdered countless black women, some sex workers others not, in South L.A. over a 25 year period. The story is told mainly through the voices of people acquainted with the killer and/or his victims, and tells us of both the hopeless poverty that drives women into prostitution, and the shocking neglect of the mainly white police and prosecutors who failed miserably to do their sworn duty to protect and serve the community.

The most jaw-dropping moment comes when the narrator mentions that some police reports concerning murdered sex workers had the odd notation “NHI”, which turns out is cop slang for No Human Involved.

Shaun DarthBatman Day
5 years ago

I think this states what I was trying to say somewhat more eloquently.

http://www.salon.com/2014/09/25/grisly_murder_ignored_how_we_failed_angelia_mangum_and_tjhisha_ball/

BreakfastMan
5 years ago

Remember people, we don’t have problems with race or sex in this country. Racism and Misogyny are just minorites and women being too uppity and wanting special privileges. Not wanting to fucking live without fear of being god-damn murdered for the crime of being black or being women (or both). -_-

freemage
freemage
5 years ago

Shaun: This is where the old activist adage, “Think globally, act locally” really comes to the fore.

The fact is, unless the victim is very noteworthy in some way, national media is going to ignore it, in any case. It’s the local media that will decide both whether the stories are run and, if they are, how they are portrayed.

And this, therefore, is where pressure must be applied–on a local basis. Step one is getting in touch with community organizations. This can be difficult when dealing with sex worker victims, precisely because our society has demonized them so badly, and because in many areas, these organizations have a religious bent–they are often uncomfortable calling for justice for a dead prostitute. But they’re the ones who have the numbers and the notoriety needed to get the attention of the local media’s senior staff.

When talking to the local groups, then, you need to frame this as something that ultimately affects their constituency. That how cops treat dead sex workers of color affects how they treat ALL people of color, and ALL women. (With Christian organizations, in particular, I recommend arming yourself with the applicable Bible verses about the woman at the well and the adultress who was about to be stoned.)

These groups should then approach the media with specific requests–first and foremost, that more coverage be given to those areas suffering the greatest degree of violence, and secondly, that the coverage be compassionate in dealing with the victims. Start with easy, straightforward rules, such as, “Only use a police mug shot of a victim if no other image is available, and if it is necessary for the story. If another image is available, use that.” News organizations LIKE straightforward rules like this–it makes them feel like they can at least get a basic grasp of the principles involved.

blahlistic (@blahlistic)

I get angry that people who engage in sex work are somehow seen as less than human, because the former and current sex workers that I’ve talked to online have been some of the kindest people I’ve encountered.
Not that it’s ok to kill assholes, mind you.

I get so angry when people find lame-ass excuses to exclude other people from human compassion, like the color of their skin, or gender, or what they do for a living, or the consenting adults they have sex with.

…OTOH, they tend to make excuses for monsters who HAVE earned that lack of compassion.
What the fuck ever. GRR.

katz
5 years ago

The most jaw-dropping moment comes when the narrator mentions that some police reports concerning murdered sex workers had the odd notation “NHI”, which turns out is cop slang for No Human Involved.

…I can’t.

I just can’t.

Tracy
Tracy
5 years ago

Jesus. NHI? So just… oh well, who cares?

katz
5 years ago

I AM WRITING ABOUT THE STALINIST PURGES AND THIS IS STILL THE MOST DISTURBING THING I’VE SEEN ALL DAY.

marinerachel
5 years ago

I’m making myself a burger for dinner. Already made Big Mac special sauce to go on it. Maybe that will make me feel less disgusted with the world.

blahlistic (@blahlistic)

Jesus. NHI? So just… oh well, who cares?

I’d read about that before. 🙁
Yeah, serial killers target prostitutes-the Wikipedia entry lists a few:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violence_against_prostitutes
Prostitutes who work at truck stops seem to be in particular danger:
http://articles.latimes.com/2009/apr/05/local/me-serialkillers5

Mewens
Mewens
5 years ago

Just chiming in to recommend freemage’s comment, especially the part about providing simple, easy-to-follow rule suggestions for media organizations. (I’d also limit the number of suggestions offered at one time – every media organization I’ve worked at is fairly conservative regarding rules changes.)

J.J
J.J
5 years ago

I have no words. Other than this: That they were sex workers DOESN’T MATTER. They were someone’s family. Someone’s daughter. They were women. They were human beings, and someone thought it was okay to throw them away like garbage. And almost no one cares, or think that they deserve what they got.

People suck sometimes.

Mnemosyne
Mnemosyne
5 years ago

…I never heard about this. This is awful! 🙁 As soon as saw the words “sex worker” and “murder” listed, I knew this had to be very, very serious. The state the girls were discovered in my suspicions on what the police might be dealing with. Lust murderers choose sex workers because they’re counting on the police not to care about them.

It makes me both angry and sad to know that people are blaming these women for their deaths. No one deserves to die, especially not in the way they did. I just pray to God that the police will care enough to stop this man before he kills more. He’s taken too many lives already…

Mnemosyne
Mnemosyne
5 years ago

Correction: “as soon as I saw” and “confirmed my suspicions.” Sorry, I’m a little distraught.

mildlymagnificent
5 years ago

I have no words. Other than this: That they were sex workers DOESN’T MATTER. They were someone’s family. Someone’s daughter. They were women. They were human beings, and someone thought it was okay to throw them away like garbage. And almost no one cares, or think that they deserve what they got.

That’s true. But something else is also true. And people who think they don’t matter should reconsider.

If you don’t think the violent deaths of these women are important, then the person responsible will still be at large to attack other women. Either by not being apprehended at all or by getting trivial sentences on ridiculous plea deals or biased decisions by judges and juries because of the lackadaisical approach of police and prosecutors and probation panels.

And eventually you finish up with a genuine monster like Adrian Bayley in Australia. The last but one sentence he “served” for rape was trivial – and in that court process he had 16, SIXTEEN, rapes ‘taken into account’. And then he was let out early anyway, which meant he was free to rape and murder Jill Meagher. She was the quintessential ‘sympathetic’ rape/murder victim. Did her and her husband Tom no good at all, she’s dead and he’s lost his lovely, lively wife.

He wrote a really good piece saying that all those women Bayley had previously assaulted were women worthy of serious consideration as victims, but the offences had been discounted or treated as less serious because most of them were sex workers. If he’d been properly prosecuted, convicted and sentenced for those offences he’d still be in jail for many of those – but not all of them, because several of them had been committed when he was out on previous early release.

He would never have been free to murder Jill if all those other women had been treated as “real” victims.

People – police included – who dismiss or discount offences committed against sex workers as unimportant need to think about the future as well as the past victims of these violent men. They needn’t be the kind of monster from everyone’s worst nightmare like Bayley is, but being let go free because you dislike or disrespect the victims you know about is putting all women at risk. But if you let them roam free, what you’re really doing is just sitting on your hands waiting until the killer chooses a “sympathetic” victim like Jill Meagher. http://www.mamamia.com.au/news/tom-meagher-violence-against-women/

It would be tragic if we did not recognise that Bayley’s previous crimes were against prostitutes, and that the social normalisation of violence against a woman of a certain profession and our inability to deal with or talk about these issues, socially and legally, resulted in untold horror for those victims, and led to the brutal murder of my wife.

We cannot separate these cases from one another because doing so allows us to ignore the fact that all these crimes have exactly the same cause – violent men, and the silence of non-violent men.

saphy
saphy
5 years ago

There’s a faux-concern that comes up in some journalism surrounding cases like Jill, which is “It is terrible and we should now be concerned because if we let men rape sex workers, then eventually they rape REAL women too!”

It’s like, why can’t we actually give a shit about the rape and violence against sex workers in and of itself? Why are they only seen as the symptoms of a leadup to ‘real’ crimes against ‘legitimate’ victims?

Shaun DarthBatman Day
5 years ago

I remember (I think about two years ago) a white woman’s body was found in a garbage bag in a dumpster, and the suspected murderer called her a sex worker and the media ran with it (Somewhere in the States, it was so long ago).

Here in Canada (and I am *not* saying that there is any shame or stigma that should be attached to being a sex worker) it seems that if one person calls you a sex worker, that’s what you are, that’s all it takes, and nothing that your family/friends say about it being untrue makes any difference. How often are we using the excuse that women are just sex workers to ignore any violence done to them regardless of facts? One of these women was an exotic dancer. She drove herself to work in her own vehicle. This did not happen because some opportunistic murderer saw prostitutes and grabbed them. No, sex work doesn’t matter, nor do degrees of sex work, but the assumed circumstances due to the ambiguity of the term “sex work” are (seemingly purposefully) being distorted for us. Just AAAARRRRRGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH! And I’m ranting and I swear there’s at least one point to that rant and I need a bath.

Michelle C Young
5 years ago

When my aunt was a teenager, her father (my Grampa) pulled a gun on her and told her to run away, or he would shoot her. Yeah.

So, there she was, a straight-A student, who had no choice but to leave home, and had no resources. She fell into a life of prostitution.

For someone to say, “That’s what you get,” or “She shouldn’t have been a hooker, anyway,” or whatever other victim-blamey stuff they’re piling on, just makes me think about my poor aunt, and how she felt so trapped, and didn’t have much of a chance, at all.

This is sickening, how the media, and people in general, are treating these poor women.

Michelle C Young
5 years ago

most of the few media outlets that reported the story are using their old mugshots

Even if that were the only pictures they had of these women, they should not have used them. It’s OK to have a story without a picture. Heck, have a picture of a funeral wreath, rather than mugshots of the victims!

Shaun DarthBatman Day
5 years ago

Michelle, that’s awful. I hope she’s safe and healthy.

And yeah, the use of mugshots is fucking appalling. There is no way anyone should think that’s in any way justifiable or not racist.

samantha
5 years ago

We cannot separate these cases from one another because doing so allows us to ignore the fact that all these crimes have exactly the same cause – violent men, and the silence of non-violent men.

Possible trigger post, for violence towards and killing of women!

Very, VERY true, mildlymagnificent. However, I learned long ago – to my everlasting horror and dismay – that too many of the silent, “non-violent” men actually tacitly approve of the actions of the violent men. They would NEVER do the deeds themselves.

When I lived in Chicago, as a teenager, I had some male friends in their late teens-early twenties. This was during the mass murder horror trial of Richard Speck, who killed – after torturing and raping – eight nurses (or student nurses – I cannot remember). We were in the Student Union at the University of Chicago and I had gotten up to get something to eat. On my way back to our table, I overheard my “friends” – nice guys, every one – talking about how the women had obviously earned their treatment and that Speck had probably done the world a favor by clearing out the whores. I kept on walking. I remember feeling numb and totally freaked at the same time. Mind you, I was 15 or 16 and was just discovering guys.

And my male friends wonder why I have never trusted men-in-general. As long as there are “peaceful” men who vicariously approve of the actions of the Specks of the world, and they don’t usually say so to a woman’s face, Women.Are.Not.Safe!

Mnemosyne
Mnemosyne
5 years ago

@Samantha: Those men ought to be ashamed! I’ve seen a numerous comments around the Internet that praise Ted Bundy as the “ultimate alpha” and believe that his victims deserved to die! So, I guess those sort of statements aren’t that unusual, despite how horrible they are. No one deserves to die, especially not in the ways that most victims of sexual homicides die.

samantha
5 years ago
Reply to  Mnemosyne

So, I guess those sort of statements aren’t that unusual, despite how horrible they are. No one deserves to die, especially not in the ways that most victims of sexual homicides die.

No, Mnemosyne, sadly they are not unusual. And what scares me is that these are comments made by the NICE-seeming guys. Please understand that I am not trying to paint all men with one horror-brush, but there does seem to be a larger-than-I-am-comfortable-with community of men who seem nice, would never, themselves, harm anyone…but quietly approve of actions against women that are downright evil.

saphy
saphy
5 years ago

@ samantha

I’ll admit, I am always too afraid to ask the men I love how they feel about things like this in case they say something awful. Even if they are kind men, I am still too worried to ask because the moment they come out with something this that it is so isolating and horrifying and I just can’t cope.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
5 years ago

There have been more young First Nations girls vanishing up in Western Canada again recently. I wonder if the cops up there have an equivalent to that disgusting NHI nonsense.

BritterSweet
5 years ago

I haven’t read everything in this thread, so it may or may not have already been mentioned here, but I heard of a fundraiser to help pay for their funerals. I donated.

http://www.youcaring.com/memorial-fundraiser/help-angelia-and-tjhisha-s-family/238511

bluecatbabe
bluecatbabe
5 years ago

Have just been reading a feminist criminology study from 1988 which critiqued an incredible amount of this kind of stuff, from mainstream criminologists saying that murder is “invited by engaging in prostitution”, I kid you not, to the Attorney General at the time Peter Sutcliffe was murdering and terrorising women all over Northern England saying that the “real tragedy” was that two of the thirteen women murdered were “decent girls”! Factor in race too, and here we are.

Ellesar
5 years ago

Knowing that most girls/ women in prostitution are doing it as a result of chronic poverty and deprivation, many having been sexually abused as children/ teens, many having drug problems and other serious issues makes me MORE sad for these victims. What the media see as whores I see as damaged and abused women who never had a decent chance in life. I know not all sex workers come from a background of deprivation, but most street working ones do.