Craig Paul Cobb, 61, owns a two-story house in Leith, North Dakota, a town of 19 people between Carson and Elgin, and 12 other lots, according to county records. Cobb is also a known white supremacist who advocates racial holy wars and hopes other racists will flock to “Cobbsville” to join him.
Earlier this week, The Southern Poverty Law Center wrote of Cobb’s plans and how other neo-nazis are joining him in buying up property:
Last year, on the white supremacist online forum Vanguard News Network (VNN), he announced his intentions to build an all-white bastion of racists in North Dakota “post haste.” The grandiose plan ends with white supremacists and neo-Nazis taking over the county government, and he has even said he hopes to rename Leith “Cobbsville.”
“Been waiting quite a few months to spring this. Now is the time,” Cobb wrote at the time. Then, in what appeared to be a pitch to those who might have reservations about moving so far north, Cobb touted the benefits of his new home. “There is water, electricity, satellite internet via Hughes at $50 per month, satellite TV from at least 3 companies, trailers, 5th wheels, campers legal, car [insurance] as little as $141 for 6 months and most importantly –– a surfeit of very good paying jobs in two different cities within normal commutable distances,” he wrote.
Cobb’s plan in Leith is to build a Pioneer Little Europe –– an idea long favored on the racist right as a way to escape what is seen as a multiculturalist agenda at work in larger and more racially diverse cities. First proposed in a 2001 pamphlet by H. Michael Barrett, the vision is to consolidate white residents in existing cities and towns and create all-white enclaves. Northwestern states including Montana, Idaho, and now North Dakota, have historically been considered appealing places to start because of lack of racial diversity.
According to the most recent U.S. Census data, 90% of the population of North Dakota is white. That increases to 97% in Grant County, where Cobb has settled.
Already some of the most active white supremacists and neo-Nazi leaders in the country have come calling.
According to county tax and property records, Tom Metzger, of Warsaw, Ind., a viciously racist propagandist who leads a group known as the White Aryan Resistance (WAR), purchased a lot for one dollar from Cobb in June 2012. Four months later, Alex Linder, who runs the VNN neo-Nazi Web forum, did the same. Additionally, Cobb claims to have donated buildings in Leith to the National Socialist Movement (NSM), the largest neo-Nazi group in the country. Grant County tax officials say Cobb could have sold more and not recorded a deed transfer.
Residents in the area aren’t too pleased with Cobb’s plans, Leith’s mayor, Ryan Schock, says there’s nothing they can do about Cobb and his flunkies moving in. “I’m trying to find out what we can do. I guess I want to get to the bottom of it and find out what his intentions are and what he stands for, if it is his plan to take over the town,” the mayor said.
But don’t think this town is without black people. Or a black person. Bobby Harper and his wife of 11 years, Cheryl, who happens to be white, find the news to be upsetting. Cheryl has even become a victim of cyberbullying by Cobb on his website, calling he a race traitor. When asked how they felt about the town’s new residents, they weren’t too pleased.
“That does put a different spin on it because my husband would be a target,” she said. “They are not welcome as far as I’m concerned.”
“I’m more aware of who I speak to, and if I stop speaking to people, they already took something from me,” Bobby Harper said. He said he would do what he had to do were Cobb or others associated with him to show disrespect or harm him.
“They can have that ugly stuff in their mind as long as they’re not bringing it toward me,” he said.
These 18 white people, and one black guy were living a peaceful life in Leith, now some neo-nazi ass wants to come and disrupt it. Welcome to Post-Racial America (sarcasm).