Leith, ND Resisting White Supremacist Takeover

Leith, ND

From the New York Times: Paul Craig Cobb, 61, has been buying up property in this town of 24 people in an effort to transform it into a colony for white supremacists. Credit: Jenn Ackerman.

 

A white supremacist is buying up land in Leith, North Dakota, vowing to create a home base for racists, according to an AP report. Paul Craig Cobb recently moved to the town of 24 residents and purchased nearly a dozen plots of land and has invited others of his kind to join him. But people in Leith are resisting.  

This has happened before and people in small towns have banded together to resist  a takeover of their town by white supremacists. Ordinary citizens in Kootenai County, Idaho successfully resisted the Aryan Nations, who had a sizable compound in their community. People in John Day, Oregon sent a clear message to neo-Nazis who were seeking a refuge in their community, "Not In Our Town." (See more below + resources.)
 

According to the AP, Cobb is a self-described white supremacist who is wanted in Canada on charges of promoting hatred. Since arriving in Leith, he has "invited fellow white supremacists to move there and help him to transform the town ... into a white enclave. No one has come. Still, the community is mobilizing to fight out of fear that Cobb could succeed, and the mayor has vowed to do whatever it takes to ensure Cobb's dream remains just that."

The New York Times details how residents have rallied behind the town's single black resident:  

Mr. Harper, Leith’s only black resident, said a lot of people approached him at his mother-in-law’s funeral on Monday to tell him they had his back.

“People told me to leave town for the weekend and they’d take care of everything,” he said.
 
But he and his wife, Sherrill — who found herself referred to as a “filthy race-mixing white woman” in one of Mr. Cobb’s online posts — said they were not going anywhere.
 
Lessons from the Not In Our Town Network
 
Read about the successful work of John Day, Oregon and Kootenai County, Idaho residents to keep their communites safe and inclusive:
Here are some links to action steps for communities who want to resist hate groups.
 

 

Add new comment