A tiny North Dakota town of 19 people is reeling from the news that a neo-Nazi wanted for hate crimes in Canada has been quietly buying up property with the intentions of establishing a white supremacist enclave in North Dakota.
The mayor of the tiny Grant County town, Leith, said local residents are "wound up" over the news and are demanding more information now that the plot has been uncovered by media outlets.
A 61-year-old man, Craig Paul Cobb, has purchased 13 lots in Leith over the past few months. Cobb plans to fill the town with enough white nationalists to take over the community. He has lived in a small house in the town since last year, but though residents knew about him, it wasn't until recently that they learned of his plan to create a white nationalist community where people could fly Nazi flags and stamp out all forms of political correctness through use of the town constable.
He also wants to name it Cobbsville.
Here's how Cobb described his vision on a white nationalist forum: "Imagine strolling over to your neighbors to discuss world politics with nearly all like-minded volk [folk?!]. Imagine the international publicity and usefulness to our cause! For starters, we could declare a Mexican illegal invaders and Israeli Mossad/IDF spies no-go zone. 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?"
Cobb was arrested in 2010 in Canada on charges of willful promotion of hatred, but the Canadian government has said it has no interest in trying to extradite him.
This is not the first time someone has attempted to create an all-white enclave in the United States. According to the Southern Poverty Law Group, the idea for creating a so-called Pioneer Little Europe in the U.S. has been around since 2001. Still, Cobb's attempt at creating Cobbsville is frighteningly close to completion.
As the SPLC reported, the town might already be filling with active white supremacists, as "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."
Understandably, the town's only African-American resident is a bit worried.
"The more the word gets out, the better chance that we can move him out. People are welcome if they're here to improve our community, but they're here to bring hate," Bobby Harper said.
If Cobbs does succeed in his vision of creating Cobbsville, it will be interesting to see what legal problems crop up. I have a suspicion that the courts would have something to say about his plans to lock up leftists and ban Jews (who he calls Mossad spies).
Whatever the case, the town's mayor isn't happy.
The plan sounds like "a flippin' fairy tale," Mayor Ryan Schock said. "None of us had checked out this guy. Nobody paid attention for a whole year, is why it's gotten as far as it's gotten."
I'm left wondering: Is anyone going to try and stop this guy? Because if they don't, then pretty soon, Ryan Schock is going to find himself out of office, replaced by Craig Cobb.