Last Night…

By Natasha L. Foreman, MBA

Last night the state of Georgia executed, killed, did away with, murdered, took the life of a man who (although) was also charged with murder in 1989 and convicted for this crime in 1991, professed his innocence until he took his last breath. Although several witnesses recanted their statements as early as 2000, some claiming coercion and intimidation by law enforcement, it was not enough in the eyes of our government. Although more evidence shedding even more doubt in his case surfaced in 2010, no one with the autonomy to right this wrong changed their mind. The state of Georgia and the U.S. Supreme Court were presented with evidence that could have exonerated Troy Davis of the murder of police officer, Mark MacPhail; but the stay of execution was denied.

What breeds inside the person who can turn a blind eye to justice, and still okay the killing of another human being? How many people have been killed in the name of “justice” just for our ‘judges and officials of justice’ to later see they were wrong…even though they will never admit it? Instead they say something to the effect of, “…newly uncovered evidence…exonerating the inmate…” or they say something like “…misplaced evidence…now proves that…did not commit the crime of…” but they never accept responsibility for taking that person’s life, instead they hide behind, “we made our decision based on the evidence we had before us…”. They stand behind this cowardly message even when new evidence or recent proof of tainted evidence brings to light enough reasonable doubt or solid justification to not impose a death sentence.

What about the families involved on all sides of this equation? The victim’s family. The accused’s family. The family of the jury. The family of the judge. The families of the warden, prison guards, governor, pardons and parole board, Supreme Court Justices, etc. There are so many people affected by the decision to end someone’s life. Who truly in the end feels “better” at the thought that they took part in taking another person’s life? Who truly sleeps “better and more sound” knowing that they were okay with another human being dying?

The day after the execution does breakfast taste better? Does the sun shine brighter? Do the birds chirp more beautifully? Does traffic dissipate smoothly? Do the bills stop coming in and the bill collectors stop calling? Does all doubt cease to exist? Does the aching pain simply go away? Does the victim of the crime resurrect and return home to their loving family?

I’m not trying to make light of the fact that a victim lost their life, I’m stressing the point that how does taking someone else’s life (not even with our own hands) make us feel any better? How does it help with our healing process? How can we really ask God, our Creator, our Maker, for forgiveness and mercy when we can’t even forgive and be merciful?

Is it really justice?

In that case, why don’t we amend our voting ballots to give voters the option to select who they think would do a better job enforcing the death penalty? Not just merely vote for the candidate who claims to support it, but let’s get down to the nitty gritty and find out how passionate and committed they truly are about taking another person’s life. Why don’t politicians say, “vote for me because I will make sure that the person accused of harming your loved one gets executed switfly”? Or “vote for me because I believe that if they kill someone you love they should fry until they smoke”. Or how about, “vote for me because I believe that as soon as the accused is convicted we should execute them immediately. Why wait years listening to appeals when we know they did it?”

Why must we spend so much money on lethal injections, electrocutions, etc? Why don’t we amend our laws to allow immediate execution upon conviction? Why don’t we just take the inmate outside with the victim’s family and witnesses seated nearby and we have the ‘executioner’ walk out and put a few rounds from a .45 automatic in the person’s head and chest? Then the medical examiner can walk over, check for vitals and declare the man or woman deceased; the cleaning crew can come wheel the dead inmate away and sanitize the area; and everyone can go back to their daily routine? Isn’t that swift justice? Or is it that society gets a kick out of the slow agony of our most used execution practices?

Yes, I’m being sarcastic and facetious. Did I prove my point?

Why are we okay with the death penalty? This isn’t even Old Testament “eye for an eye” and it’s definitely not the New Testamant form of justice. Can someone show me other religious text that declares this is the right form of justice, done the correct way?

With so many cases over the years and recently of, ‘oops we executed the wrong person’ when is it NOT okay to execute an inmate? When does pride, arrogance, revenge, and the deep sadistic nature within get put aside for rational, compassionate, forgiving, critical-thinking-type logic?

Another man, son, brother, grandson, uncle, nephew, cousin murdered in the name of justice. God have mercy on us!

Copyright 2011. Natasha L. Foreman. Paradigm Life. All Rights Reserved.

Eritrean Independence Day Celebration

By Natasha L. Foreman, MBA

On May 21st there will be an Eritrean Independence Day Celebration at the Global Mall in Atlanta Georgia, conveniently located near Spaghetti Junction off Interstate 85 on Jimmy Carter Boulevard. I’m sure this will be a celebration to remember!

Copyright 2011. Natasha L. Foreman. Paradigm Life

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal Signs Anti-Human Trafficking and Georgia Victims Fund Bills Today

The Younger Women’s Task Force Atlanta Metro Chapter is pleased to announce that Georgia’s Governor Nathan Deal has signed the House Bills HB200 and HB300 into law today at 1:45pm.

Governor Deal signed the two bills advocated by the Women’s Caucus at My Sister’s House, an Atlanta facility that offers overnight shelter and residential discipleship programs for homeless women and women with children. The Governor said that, “Human trafficking is a repugnant crime that is growing like a cancer in our society. Signing this bill into law, I join my fellow Georgians in declaring moral outrage and vowing to fight human trafficking here in our state. These criminals rob their victims of freedom and human dignity, and they destroy lives. With this bill now a law, we will find these criminals and we will punish them harshly.”

HB 200 addresses human trafficking which:

1. Strengthens the punishment against traffickers by increasing the minimum imprisonment for any person who commits the offense of trafficking a person for labor or sexual servitude and subjects the convicted to a fine.

2. Increases the punishment for any person who commits the offense of trafficking a person for labor or sexual servitude against a person who is under the age of 18 years

3. Protects those that fall victim to predators whom act on their state of desperation by providing that a person shall NOT be guilty of a sexual crime if the conduct upon which the alleged criminal liability is based was committed under coercion or deception while the accused was being trafficked for sexual servitude

HB 503 provides for:

1. The Georgia Crime Victims Emergency Fund to cover the costs of medical exams of alleged victims of rape

2. Ensures that victims will have these exams paid for and that the responsibility will not fall on local law enforcement that have budget constraints

Our Younger Women’s Task Force Atlanta Chapter Director, Terica Scott was on hand to witness this amazing moment and she served as our on-site photographer for the day.

Terica had this to say about this great day, “we are pleased to see this legislation signed by the governor today. It symbolizes a great victory for girls and women in Georgia. The Younger Women’s Task Force Atlanta Chapter supports and stands 100 percent behind this bill becoming law. HB200 will help protect younger women from pain and suffering due to the cruelty by human traffickers.”

This vital legislation was a collaborative effort between concerned legislators, the Attorney General’s office, prosecutors, state and local law enforcement agencies, social service organizations, and religious groups from across the state.

The Younger Women’s Task Force Atlanta Chapter is honored to have witnessed and taken part in today’s signing. We look forward to anti-human trafficking bills being signed into law in every state in the U.S. and becoming federal law.

Click on the link below to send the Governor your warmest thanks:,2657,165937316_166563415,00.html

Thank you Governor Deal!

Copyright 2011. Younger Women’s Task Force Atlanta Chapter.

Rainbows After Storms

By Natasha L. Foreman

Two days ago the southern region of the U.S. was tossed, turned, and in some places flattened by tornadoes that destroyed property, took innocent lives, disturbed the livelihood of thousands, and caused sleepless nights for so many. As people try to breathe and take in how to rebuild from this catastrophe one thing that Americans and the rest of the world can say is that we will rebuild as we always do.

Ironically, with turmoil on our homeland thousands and possibly millions of people tuned in to their television early this morning (while I slept) to watch a couple, several thousand miles away, Prince William and his bride Kate get married in a stunning and breathtaking wedding that gave chills to anyone who watched his father and mother wed in the 1980s. I saw the wedding this afternoon as it was re-broadcasted (as I knew it would).

I share this wedding today not to overshadow the devastation in the southern states of the U.S. but to share what my dear friend John Hope Bryant always says, “rainbows follow storms…you can’t have a rainbow without first having a storm…” and with that I say to those in the south who are shaken, rattled, fearful, and in pain- know that your rainbow will come. Today Prince William has a rainbow over him and his new wife; a kiss from his mother reminding him that she is and always will be with him, his wife, his brother, and his future children.

William and his brother Henry were devastated when their mother’s life was cut short at such a youthful age in an awful car crash. In her memory, her honor, and through her legacy these young men have pushed through life (sometimes stumbling) trying their best to give to all in need, to stand as representatives of their mother and make her proud that she raised them well, and to show that even in a catastrophe we can survive and rebuild.

We wonder what the amazement is with the royal family and I now see it clearly, even though we have become so modernized and focused on innovation and technology, we still are rooted in old world traditions- we still come from a time and place where family means everything and where lineage and legacy is of great importance; where taking care of and having respect for your family name is a priority- and we silently yearn for reclamation of this tradition in our own country.

We yearn for this in a land where grandmothers are as young as 28 (and their children are unwed), where fathers are absent from the home, where mothers aren’t sure who the fathers are, and where “sexy” is wearing the least amount of clothes, dancing the “freakiest”, and having the “flyest ride”- instead of having the best grades in school, getting academic scholarships, and having respectable and legal careers.

We live in a land where children as young as 10 think they are “sexy”, girls call themselves “Barbie”, guys claim their “pimps” and want to “make it rain”, where gangs and drug dealers run rampant killing generations of all nationalities; where the elderly are cast away in nursing homes and rarely visited, and where our children are doped up on drugs for attention deficit and hyperactivity instead of raised, nurtured and counseled properly. We live in a land where we’re more concerned with what we are against instead of standing together in what we are for. Instead of coming together to rebuild, we remain divided playing the blame game.

In many ways the royal family represents what once was, not so long ago, so the world clings to them and their image as a sign of hope.

So I say again, even though the loss of life is the greatest from a single day of tornadoes in the U.S. since April 1974 we can and we will rebuild. We can and we will honor the memories of those who passed away a few days ago. We can and we will rejoice, persevere, survive, and strive in every aspect of our lives. Let us take this time to bring our extended family of neighbors together as we pick up the pieces and start anew.

Photo Credits:
Pictures of Prince William and Kate wedding: Natasha L. Foreman as taken of rebroadcast by PBS-WETA

Car and rubble in Tuscaloosa, Alabama: Amanda Sowards, Montgomery Advertiser, via AP

Birds-eye view of devastation at Rosedale Court housing community in Tuscaloosa, Alabama: Dusty Compton, The Tuscaloosa News, via AP

Teen mom:

Copyright 2011. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.