To Dr. Sniegoski's article
"Joe Sobran: Martyr for truth."


To the editor ...

I wrote this with forethought, usually one tries not to think ill of the dead, but when they cause scandal to some, as this man did to me (despite his talents), I feel one must say something.

I used to read Mr. Sobran's columns on a regular basis (before he retired from writing). You are correct, he was not a perfect man and he did pay a heavy price for his views. I found it distressing that such a "Catholic man" had in the inability to put himself, in the shoes of another, especially the despised "other."

Mr. Sobran had an undisguised animus against Black people, the usual kind. I remember writing to him one time after an article he had written in which he concluded that Muslim countries who imported African slaves didn't have a "black problem" because the African male was castrated — effectively preventing reproduction of children that could cause problems — thus I suppose only the children born to the Black female slaves (who would in all practice be Muslim and under the absolute control and loyalty of the father) would be the offspring dealt with. I basically took him to task in an e-mail over this very un-Christian, let alone un-Catholic point of view, going so far as to state at the time that would he have then castrated the male ancestor of Saint Martin de Porres? Now of course this saint was born to a Black woman/White father, but the mother certainly had had a Black parent. So to advocate genocide as it were, is certainly not Catholic.

Now, Mr. Sobran never wrote back to me about this issue possibly thinking it nonsensical, but I pondered this thinking, well, I guess the Saint himself will ask Mr. Sobran about this view someday. Of course, he was secure in his superiority as a White person, never failing to express that also something else that the Church even before Vatican II (which like Mr. Sobran, I did not agree with) came to the forefront.

I remember reading that he was going to retire from writing due to illness and financial issues (this was only hinted at by the gentleman) and only upon reading this article did the gravity of what he endured come to my complete attention.

I wonder if it was poetic justice, or more likely karma he became as those he unfairly despised, for if even a handful of people are bad, to relish the thought of genocide of all is quite, reprehensible. Perhaps the burden would have not been so heavy if he had stuck to the adage — treat others as you would like to be treated — if you were in their place.

This is doubtless not going to change your mind about him — that was never my intention — it was merely to express what I have been holding in my thoughts ever since I had heard about his death.

Some would say he did his purgatory on earth — I think he's not done with purgatory yet — I wonder what answer can he give the Saint now oratorical skills can't hide what is inside the soul and heart — which isn't being hidden ... now.

Very Respectfully,
Patricia Mc Coy
October 14, 2010
(posted October 21, 2010)


Ronn Neff comments

Miss Mc Coy must learn to distinguish more precisely between what she knows and what she does not know. It is perfectly legitimate for us to make surmises and to speculate, but it is imperative for us also to know when we are surmising and when we are speculating, so that our conclusions are properly qualified.

She tells us that she thinks that Joe Sobran is not done with his purgatory. She has qualified her statement by telling us that it is what she thinks. But I would like to ask Miss Mc Coy on what basis does she think it. What evidence can she possibly adduce for thinking it? Even the most tentative opinion one may hold must be supported by something other than one's prejudices. And in the case of a serious opinion of this sort, I should think that a Catholic lady would be prepared to supply it, and not simply end a missive with it and sly innuendoes about a confrontation with a saint. (May I say, mighty white of you, Miss Mc Coy, to allow that Joe Sobran could be in heaven where he can chat with saints.)

I must also say something about Miss Mc Coy's comment that Joe Sobran caused her scandal. She makes the curious leap from Joe's saying that Arabs had castrated their black slaves to wondering whether Joe himself would have castrated some. Is that what passes for thinking these days? Is it really necessary to explain the difference between stating that something happened and approving of it? If Miss Mc Coy was scandalized by Joe's comments, it was not Joe's fault. She simply chose to scandalize herself and then blame Joe. As Christians, we are, of course, not to give scandal. But we can do damn little about people who insist on taking scandal any time they find some opportunity for manufacturing it.

As I read what Miss Mc Coy has to say about Joe, I find that she has two objections, one of which she expands from a statement of historical fact to an accusation that Joe "relish[ed] the thought of genocide of blacks." The other is that Joe did not get back to her when she wrote to object to something Joe had written.

"Now, Mr. Sobran never wrote back to me about this issue possibly thinking it nonsensical," Miss Mc Coy writes. Is that really the only explanation she can come up with? Is her imagination really so impoverished? Has Miss Mc Coy had no experience with e-mail that could suggest even one alternate explanation? I could come up with at least half a dozen possible explanations, and I see no reason for settling on any one of them.

Let me suggest a possibility that Miss Mc Coy might want to consider. Joe received hundreds upon hundreds of e-mail messages every day. I do not exaggerate. I know this to be a fact because I was the webmaster for his website and of the e-mail system he used. He spent entirely too much time with his e-mail; he would have gotten done much more of the writing he really wanted to do if he had ignored all of it (as I often begged him to do). He answered a lot of the writers at great length, so, naturally, he never got back to most of them. In fact, he never read most of his e-mail because he spent so much time replying to the handful that he did get to. Under this scenario, Miss Mc Coy's message would just be one of the hundreds that Joe never got around to reading.

Here's another possibility: If Miss Mc Coy has been reading any of the obituaries of Joe, she has probably come across some mention of the general disorganization that characterized Joe's personal life. Is she so self-absorbed that she cannot imagine her message falling through digital cracks?

How about this one: Does it not occur to her that others' messages may have been much more interesting than her own? Not that Joe considered her message to be nonsensical, but that other people actually had something more interesting to say?

Anyway, those are just three possibilities I came up with without really trying very hard. I hope that in her Christian forbearance Miss Mc Coy will exercise her imagination and see whether she can come up with one or two others.

Now let's get to the heart of the matter — Joe's comments about how the Arabs treated their African slaves, his heartlessness, and his "undisguised animus" against blacks.

I would think that a woman with a sense of justice who was going to base a criticism of another on an article that other had written would have the courtesy to tell us what the article was and how to find it. It's not as though it is hard. All you have to do is go to the Sobran's website, scroll to the search engine, and use "castration" and "Arab" as search terms, and voila! Up come two possible columns (and only two). Don't know how to find the Sobran's website? Go to Google and use "Sobran," "castration," and "Arab" as search terms. The first two entries are the same columns by Joe Sobran.

Not really all that complicated. Miss Mc Coy could have easily found it and told us what it was, so that we wouldn't have to guess between the two columns. I believe that the column she has in mind is "The Arab Solution," of April 16, 2007. The best reply to Miss Mc Coy's accusations of "undisguised animus" I can suggest is simply to read that column and see whether what she has to say makes any sense. (I'll make it easy for Miss Mc Coy to re-read it, if she cares to: It's at www.sobran.com/columns/2007/070416.shtml.)

I suppose it's possible that Joe considered Miss Mc Coy's comments nonsensical (but he often liked nonsense and sometimes would reply to it). But whether he did or not, I will say it: her objection to this column makes no sense. It is nonsense. Read it yourself. Readers, get back to us if you think I'm wrong. (We'd love to hear from you.) Miss Mc Coy should be embarrassed that she has made her complaint known to us.

I'm afraid the problem with most of Joe's writing is that it was intended for educated and literate adults. He was forever being accused of having said things he simply hadn't said by people who shouldn't have been reading adult literature. What he wrote required a thinking reader, a reader who could detect the connection between one sentence and the one that followed. A reader who could appreciate paradox and delight in spotting absurdity. Since the purpose of the American school system is to create conformist hot-button reacters, not adults capable of critical reading, that particular skill is no longer taught in schools (or, alas, in most families), and hasn't been for rather a long time. Thus, the only people who were qualified to read Joe Sobran were the failures of the American education system. Miss Mc Coy seems not to have been one of those failures.

"Most of history's saddest victims died unpitied, with no descendants, no memorials, and no liberal mourners." Thus wrote the genocide-relishing, bigoted Joe Sobran with his undisguised animus toward blacks.

October 21, 2010

Ronn Neff is senior editor of The Last Ditch.

A reader comments

My response to Patricia Mc Coy is that Whites are superior to Blacks (and everyone else). Michael Levin has composed well on this subject. It is like comparing North Asians to South Asians. Here, superiority obviously belongs to the former in many categories such as morality and intelligence. I am not Roman Catholic, but I do not think it is anti-Catholic to wish for higher forms of life to predominate over lower forms of life. The way people on this continent usually think of Blacks are as mulattoes. A woman like this may want to travel into those hugely growing Christian parts of Africa and observe these wonderful people in all of their grace. I cannot imagine that most of the White, pious Christians throughout history would have a problem with asserting the superiority of the indigenous people of Europe over the people that inhabit the continent of darkness.

Gaurav Ahuja
(E-mail address included by request.)
Posted October 23, 2010


A reader comments

Appreciate your response to the woman. Woman's thinking mechanism is triggered by emotion, by which they are led. The bigger problem is that many men, having been feminized, operate the same way, which is why we have the present-day leftism.

I appreciate also y'all's way with words. You apparently have the same gift that Joe Sobran and Sam Francis had. Keep it up.

Brandon Martin
North Carolina
Posted October 23, 2010


Miss Mc Coy replies


I did get a chance to read your response to my letter — as well as other people's responses. In your response, there are many excellent, constructive, critical remarks and I thank you for them. More examples of why I have an opinion should be given and I shall remember to do so. However, I will equally consider the limitations that a website similar to yours might wish to place on the length of one's letter, which might render it impossible to fulfil your expectations of accurate and intellectually sound correspondence on controversial issues.

Remarks about my race, gender, intellect, etc; all in the negative in total, as stated by you and the subsequent responders to my letter do not interest me very much — when one cannot win one's arguments, one can always call your opponent names, or otherwise belittle their abilities, without seeing in oneself the same paucities that you accuse the "other" of possessing. Gentlemen, I shall depart for a lady knows 2 things — one: that one cannot reason with the unreasonable and two: when to leave ...

All the best to you ...
Miss Patricia Mc Coy
October 24, 2010
Posted October 27, 2010


Nicholas Strakon replies

Our guidelines for letters to the editor may be found at www.thornwalker.com/ditch/lte_contents_note.htm. In them, I do not establish any specific rule for the length of letters, though I do urge a writer to consider trimming if he approaches 1,000 words. In any case, I'm always prepared to negotiate, and if Miss Mc Coy felt constrained in terms of length, I wish she'd told me about it. After all, bytes are cheap.

On the other hand, she writes in reference to sites "similar to yours," and not, apparently, this actual website; so I am left somewhat at sea on this point.

Miss Mc Coy refers to negative "remarks about my race ... stated by you and the subsequent responders to my letter." "You" apparently refers to Mr. Neff. (In the guidelines, by the way, I urge letter writers to use the third person in such references.) I have to point out that neither Mr. Neff nor our commenting readers knew our correspondent's race.

Further, she lumps Mr. Neff's reply together with the replies of our readers, but I find nothing in our senior editor's comments that could possibly be interpreted as adverse criticism of any race of people. The same goes for negative remarks about her "gender," or as we say here at TLD (preferring standard English), her sex.

Just as Mr. Neff regretted that Miss Mc Coy was not specific in referring to Joe Sobran's writings, I regret that she is not more specific here in terms of who wrote what.

I thank Miss Mc Coy for her thanks, and with that, leaving a few mysteries unsolved, I close this correspondence.

October 27, 2010

Nicholas Strakon is editor-in-chief of The Last Ditch.

To the editor ...

Sniegoski complains about Rich Lowry proposing that we threaten to nuke Mecca in retaliation for a terrorist attack. He is of like mind with Adam Ozimek, of Modeled Behavior, who calls Tom Tancredo "crazy" for echoing the idea. But as pointed out in the comments section there, that is just the course of action that Thomas Schelling's analysis of games would suggest. An optimal threat would actually even lead to fewer Muslims being killed than under Uncle Sam's current strategy.

Albert Nock
October 23, 2010
Posted October 29, 2010


Back to Dr. Sniegoski's article.