The small town of Leith, North Dakota, that is currently under seige by white supremacists, is fighting back, according to Fox News. The town has reportedly formed a legal defense fund to stop a longtime white supremacist, Craig Cobb, from taking over the town, which has a population of 24, and turning it into an all-white enclave.
“We need people from across the state to come alongside of us and show support that they don’t believe in what this guy is doing,” Lee Cook, a Leith City Council member told The Bismarck Tribune. “There are a lot of people who could speak up. It’s not tricky. Silence, to me, means that whatever he’s doing is OK.”
With a population of just two dozen in a mostly white county, Leith, North Dakota is apparently an attractive destination for members of the U.S. National Socialist Movement, who revealed that they are making plans to turn the shrinking town into an all-white enclave. Grant County Sheriff Steve Bay is prepared for the worst if clashes break out between a band of neo-Nazi white supremacists and protesters.
This weekend, state residents have planned a “peaceful show of solidarity” with the town.
“We cannot accept this racist hatred they are bringing here. Leith is in a crisis and is crying out for help,” said Jeremy Kelly, a resident of Bismarck.
According to the Reuters, today will be the second day of the U.S. National Socialist Movement’s plan to introduce themselves to the community in what their organization’s leader, Jeff Schoep, calls an “act of good will and faith.” The ridiculous group is reportedly America’s largest neo-Nazi organization, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has the unenviable job of tracking hate groups.
According to the Center, for more than a year, white supremacy activist Craig Cobb, who is wanted in Canada for willfully promoting hatred, has been snatching up properties in crumbling Leith and inviting fellow supremacists to move in and set up a “Pioneer Little Europe,” as some supporters have called it. He has made a sales pitch to the like-minded. He praised the area’s good paying jobs and the selection of satellite TV providers.
Cobb reportedly spends his days in his rough two-story home with no running water. But he seems to have internet because he spends an exorbitant amount of time posting online, advocating for white supremacists to join his settlement. “I only need 17 people,” he said with a chuckle. “You have to have a majority to win an election. If we get 22 we’ve got a landslide.”
In an interview with WXMB-TV in Bismarck, Cobb said he had gotten a lot of offers to buy up land from what he termed like-minded people who believe white people should not be punished for wanting to live near each other.
Schoep said that the visitors would inspect the new property, raise ceremonial flag poles, and hold a town meeting and a news conference. “We have every intention of legally assuming control of the local government,” Schoep said.
“It’s fine for all these other minorities, but not us,” he said. “If you merely speak about it, you’re going to be defamed in this country.”
Two of Craig Cobb’s neighbors are Sherrill Harper, who is white, and her husband Bobby, who is black. Bobby Harper, a 52-year-old welder, said he has spoken to Cobb only once. He says Cobb’s plans don’t bother him much.
“The most extreme thing you can do is hate another man because of the color of his skin, (but) I don’t think we should get too excited,” he said. “I believe right will prevail.”
I sure hope it does.
Image via U.S. National Socialist Movement