White Supremacists Try to Take Over ND Town

The tiny town of Leith, North Dakota is being targeted by a white supremacist and neo-Nazi with a plan to move others like him into the area to take over the area and make it their base of operation. For some reason, some of the locals have a problem with that.

Craig Paul Cobb, 61, who has been called one of the most extreme white supremacists and neo-Nazis in the country, has purchased 13 lots in the mostly abandoned town of Leith with plans to fill the town with other racists and haters and eventually take over the community.

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…

Mayor Ryan Schock said his phone has been “ringing off the hook” since the Tribune broke the story Wednesday night, with many of the calls from area residents wanting to know what’s going on.

“Everybody’s wound up,” the mayor said.

People in the community of 19 are still trying to figure out what they can or should do about the situation, he 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.

Very disturbing. And there’s a local mixed-race couple that is very concerned about it:

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.”

I don’t know what kind of measures could be taken legally to prevent this, since buying property is not against the law.

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  • raven

    It is actually pretty feasible.

    A lot of towns in the rural midwest are ghost towns or close to it.

    Where my relatives once lived, not that far from North Dakota, their town has a program to buy up abandoned houses. Of which there are a lot. Usually for back taxes, meaning the town gets them for free.

    They then tear them down. This is to prevent the town from looking like a ghost town.

    You can buy a lot for a thousand or two dollars. You can buy an old Victorian era or later house for maybe $15 or $20,000. Houses are about as cheap as they can get anywhere.

  • lancifer

    I guess it sucks for the 19 residents of this obscure, isolated little town, but the idea of a bunch of racist douche bags banishing themselves to some back-water shit-hole in North Dakota sounds pretty good to me.

  • exdrone

    I don’t know what kind of measures could be taken legally to prevent this

    To be fair, the effort should be on any inappropriate actions or political manoeuvres they try to pursue. It would be more efficient to head off their effort by preventing them from moving in, but you can’t discriminate on that basis.

  • Alverant

    I don’t think anything can really be done if they are doing it legally. The residents will have to watch the new comers like a hawk and write down whatever they do in case they need it in a court hearing.

  • DaveL

    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…

    Of course they can write their own laws… as long as they’re in keeping with state and federal law and don’t deny any person equal protection under the law. They can have their white enclave as long as they don’t discriminate in the provision of housing on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, etc.

    Guess what, suckers? Municipalities are not independent and sovereign city-states in the U.S.

  • Doug Little

    Maybe they should try with Detroit, there is a lot of cheap vacant property there … oh wait.

  • criticaldragon1177

    Ed Brayton

    Buying the property might not be against the, but that doesn’t mean that everything Cobb want’s to do with it is not.

  • criticaldragon1177

    Ed Brayton,

    Sorry, let me fix that.

    “Buying the property might not be against the law, but that doesn’t mean that everything Cobb want’s to do with it is not.”

  • I’m sure that the Gadsden Flag wavers will be showing up wth their Bushmasters, AR’s and AK’s to deal those Nazi fucks a “2nd Amendment Solution”–then again, maybe THEY’RE Nazi fucks.

  • To be fair to them, Ty Cobb plans to put a lot of work in to White Pride Day. Granted, it’s just the one float. And he’s already got the Nazi uniforms.


    Maybe he doesn’t put a lot of work in to it.

  • There’s nothing that can legally be done to prevent them buying up property but I say let them waste their money and rid society of themselves. It’s a very tiny fringe who’d rather live in a ghost town than have to put up with a tiny percentage of non-whites. The fact that a town of 19 represents the closest they’ve ever gotten to taking over a town (and it would be as cheap to thwart their plan as it was to enact it) shows how pathetic they are.

  • drr1

    Cobb and his merry band of white supremacists might want to read (or have someone read and explain to them) Marsh v. Alabama, 326 U.S. 501 (1946) before they let too many visions of racist nirvana start dancing through their empty heads.

  • raven

    It’s a very tiny fringe who’d rather live in a ghost town…

    In North Dakota no less. A subarctic wasteland in the middle of nowhere.

    OK, maybe it isn’t quite that bad. But it is really cold in the winter, which is a long winter. Thre are blizzards and the odd tornado in the summer. And there aren’t a whole lot of trees.

    A lot of my relatives are from the upper midwest. The operative word here is “from”. Very few of them live there any more.

  • raven

    Even if they set up their Nazi paradise, it isn’t going to do them much good.

    They had one of those in Idaho. After they went around harassing and terrorizing nonwhites, they became law enforcement targets. And also got sued by their victims. IIRC, when they wouldn’t pay the lawsuits, their land was sold off.

    The Branch Davidians tried something similar. It is a good way to eventually get into a gun battle with the police and armed forces. One that you are guaranteed to lose.

  • DaveL


    There’s a reason the Gadsden flag doesn’t say “Don’t Tread On Others.”

  • D. C. Sessions

    With any luck they’ll get some lots of like-minded sorts from Montana to join them.

  • democommie @ #9 “2nd Amendment Solution”

    That reminds me… Yesterday I was really repulsed by a bumper sticker I saw on a car (as it happened, not far from Newtown, CT) – “When in doubt, empty the magazine.”

    Being a librarian and one generally ignorant of guns and gun culture, I thought it meant, you know, a magazine such as with glossy pages. And I was puzzled. Then my internal thesaurus kicked in and I understood. 🙁

  • “When in doubt, empty the magazine.”

    Out of their own mouths.

    There, in a nutshell is the complete and utter bankruptcy of teh gunzloonz’ argument about their law-abiding and reasonable use of firearms.

    A rational, reasobable person, when in doubt, steps back from confrontation.

  • Can they short sell on the local economy, then use the money they make when Neo Naazis wreck the property values to move elsewhere?

  • whheydt

    Why am I suddenly reminded of Antelope–briefly, Rajneesh–Oregon?

    On the other hand, that one spawned talk about bumper stickers saying “Hunting season’s open. Bhagwan today.”

  • David C Brayton

    History is replete with folks doing this type of stuff: Pilgrims, Mormons (currently, they have recommendations for towns to be ‘colonized’), Jim Jones’s group, Moses, Branch Davdians, Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

    Heck, there is even a group of libertarians that think New Hampshire is the new Eden. See http://www.freestateproject.org.

    So, no surprise to see this.

    Of course, the city counsel could do a few things to make the community nice: ban outdoor burning of anything without a permit and prohibit all outdoor burning of things taller than 2 feet. Mandatory curfews. No new trailer home permits will be issued. All future homes must have running, indoor plumbing. Require permits for after hour gatherings/parties of more than 5. Require all gatherings/parties have liability insurance. They can establish a property transfer tax.

    But, looking on Google Street View, I couldn’t even see a paved street in this town. So, actually having neighbors available to buy your land might be a benefit to the current residents that want to move to a big town. You know, a place with 250 residents.

    Bottom line is, in the US, theres nothing you can do to prevent folks from moving into your neighbor because they hold abhorrent views.

  • dingojack

    Quodlibet – maybe you should get a bumper sticker (similar in colour, font etc to the one described above) that reads:

    ‘When it doubt, read a periodical’.

    (Librarian humour)

    🙂 Dingo

  • “Bottom line is, in the US, theres nothing you can do to prevent folks from moving into your neighbor because they hold abhorrent views.”

    That’s a whole different sort of “body snatchers”.

  • scienceavenger

    Might get interesting when one of them runs for mayor, or worse, sheriff.

  • matty1

    @21 I know that is mainly just snark and these kinds of things couldn’t happen to a more deserving bunch but the idea of curfews and government control on private gatherings makes me itch due to its proximity to totalitarianism.

    Requiring all new homes to have plumbing though, that’s just common sense and they should have been doing it at least 50 years ago.

  • eric

    I don’t know what kind of measures could be taken legally to prevent this

    Most of the answers, unfortunately, require money and someone or someone’s willing to spend it to prevent this from happening.

    1. Owners could take their properties off the market. To remain legal, this would have to be really off the market, as in no longer looking to sell at all. It can’t be “off the market for you, but not for him.” So this would be a financial burden for owners looking/needing to sell.

    2. A wealthy donor or group buys all the houses for sale. If Raven is right about property values, this is pretty feasible for any wealthy individual. As an alternate and somewhat of a giveupski, a wealthy individual could offer the remaining owners a relative high price for their houses, allowing them the financial freedom to move elsewhere.

    3. Improve the economy and bring jobs back to the area. The supremicists only have a chance of doing this because of the low number of regular citizens. If there were 190 or 1,900 (because of job availability), the problem most likely away.

    4. Keep the public eye on the town. Get the press to cover their public meetings. Use the internet to bring attention to what they’re doing. Install video cameras around your house. Appeal to the govenor to station one or more state troopers in the town. Call in the ACLU, FFRF to challenge illegal laws when they try and pass them, and state troopers, the ATF and FBI when they act violently/illegally.

  • Kiryas Joel. And I’m sure the neonazis would appreciate being compared to them.