61 year-old Craig Paul Cobb has been called one of the most extreme white supremacists and neo-Nazis in the country, and now he has purchased 13 lots in the small town of Leith, North Dakota, and has made plans to fill the town with other racists in an attempt to takeover the town and eventually write their own law. The small town’s population is extremely concerned after it’s been revealed that the takeover includes the town’s elections. In addition, there’s the matter of the town’s biracial couple who obviously feel anxious about Cobb’s intentions.
The Bismarck Tribune reports, “Cobb himself lives in a small house in Leith and residents knew he was buying up other lots last year. It wasn’t until the past few days that they learned of his scheme to turn Leith into a white nationalists’ community, where people could fly Nazi flags and other racial banners, take over the city through elections and write their own laws.”
Cobb was arrested in 2010 in Canada on federal charges of willful promotion of hatred and had been in Montana under dual citizenship until turning up in Grant County last year, the Tribune reports.
Mayor Ryan Schock said his phone has been “ringing off the hook” and added that “Everybody’s wound up” since the story broke Wednesday night.
The small community cannot figure out what to do about the situation.
Raw Story reports, In a post last year on the Vanguard News Network forum, Cobb said anyone who lives on his property would be required to fly a “racialist banner” — such as a Nazi flag — 24-hours a day. They would also be required to try to “import more responsible radical hard core [white nationalists]” and become a legal resident of the state so they could vote in local elections. He plans to rename the city “Cobbsville.”
Cobb adds, “If leftist journalists or antis come and try to make trouble, they just might break one of our local ordinances and would have to be arrested by our town constable. See?”
Yes we see.
The Tribune reports:
Mark Potok, an expert on extremism and editor of the Intelligence Report and Hatewatch blog, said people should be concerned.
Hatewatch is a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights group, keeping tabs hate crimes and hate advocates across the country, including Cobb.
“He’s one of the most vicious, neo-Nazi activists around,” Potok said.
The fact that Cobb was able to buy so much property in Leith before anyone realized what he represents is the most successful attempt so far to create an all-white enclave, Potok said.
Cobb is trying to turn Leith into a Pioneer Little Europe, an all-white vision that’s been around since 2001, Potok said.
He said others have tried to create white enclaves — notably April Gaebe’s attempt in Kalispell, Mont., but have not gotten nearly as far as Cobb has gotten in Leith.
“This is much further advanced than anything we’ve seen,” Potok said.
He said it’s likely Cobb picked Leith because North Dakota is 90 percent white and Grant County is 97 percent white, according to the U.S. census.
Other factors that make it attractive are cheap land, few people to stand up to a takeover and employment in the Bakken oil patch.
“Most of these guys don’t have two dimes to rub together,” Potok said.
Leith is home to a mixed race couple, Bobby and Sherrill Harper, who spoke to the Tribune about living in town targeted by white nationalists.
Harper said she and her husband were vilified in a white activism Internet site stormfront.org as a result of the Tribune story, with one writer saying, “a … race-mixing White woman like her has no place in a White nation.”
Sherrill Harper said she doesn’t regret going public. “I’m not sorry it’s out there. The more people who know, the better,” she said.
Potok said he doesn’t think Cobb’s plans will hold up now that they are widely known.
“He can’t take away the community. People will resist this. My best guess is that it will fall apart as a result of being exposed,” he said.
Sherrill Harper said she’s learned a lot about extreme racism in just a few days and she welcomed Potok’s prediction.
“I can only hope that he’s right,” she said.
I’m so glad the Supreme Court of the United States told us that racism in America is in our country’s past, because that means this isn’t really happening to this community.Click here for reuse options!
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