Fatimah Ali and I did not always agree on things. In fact, I'm pretty sure our world views are diametrically opposed on 90% of the issues, big, small and irrelevant, that make for good oped commentary.
But Fatimah is a professional, someone whose sense of justice formed the cornerstone of her writings. I have more respect for her than for many of the conservatives out there who write without knowledge, only passion.
The real reason that I will miss Fatimah is that she had courage. It takes guts to come out and write a column that triggers hundreds of despicable jeers and slurs, and not back down. I don't agree with the substance of the so-called 'race war' op-ed, but I abhor the type of vitriol aimed at her personally. Commenters on the web are often cowardly in their anonymity. Fatimah was anything but a coward.
She was a strong voice at the paper, and she will be missed.