The cost of courage

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 4, 2007

To the Editor:

She is the most courageous person I know.

The strongest. Under relentless revilement and unremitting attacks, she stands; simply because her soul will not allow her to do otherwise.

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In what is her profound humanity, she hurts, she pains, as we all do, but hers in the face of myriad insults and multiple indignities hurled as a thousand darts a day.

Who amongst us can stand it?

Amazingly, however, wounded, tired, a veteran yet entrenched and embroiled, she continues to fight.

My mother, Faya Rose Toure, formerly known as Rose Sanders, is my hero.

I know of no general more valiant.

Not one of her critics can withstand the weight of the emotional abuse this city has heaved upon her without cowering under the pressure.

No retreat, no surrender.

If nothing else you must celebrate her heart.

I am pained by irresponsible comments to the effect that this woman would submit herself to all this abuse and ridicule for personal gain.

Hers has been a sacrifice not a bounty.

Only her love for justice and her unrequited love for the people of Selma has caused her to remain in this war zone, a hostage of her own love and commitment.

As much as she fights for others, it is the rare individual who fights for her.

In the face of her harshest critics, even those of us who claim to love justice remain embarrassingly silent. My conscience will no longer permit my silence.

While reasonable people can disagree about her means, only the irresponsible and the self-possessed can with a straight face question her love, commitment to justice and unyielding dedication to the children of this community.

Growing up, she took in literally dozens of individuals into our home who were without home or amid crisis.

I know no one who has given as much of one’s self as she has.

Imagine the misery of fighting for those who constantly lend credence to the old adage, “No good deed goes unpunished.”

How can we muster the nerve to criticize courage, while lacking the courage to criticize that which demands it?

It is a reflection of our own cowardice.

She makes us uncomfortable as she reminds us of our own fear and timidity in the face of injustice backed by power. “Rose, just be quiet.”

She could if we were not so conspicuously silent.

As for Mr. Gayle’s editorial in Tuesday’s paper implying that Mrs. Toure was an embarrassment to our family, he could not be more wrong; to the extent we remain silent amid injustice and idle around abuses of power, we are an embarrassment to her and to all for which she stands.

Kindaka Sanders