Let us avoid repeat of Leith
A white supremacist who tried and failed to establish an enclave of like-minded people in Leith, N.D., is trying again. This time Craig Cobb and his people are eyeing Antler, N.D., a town of about 20 people near the Canadian border in Bottineau C...
A white supremacist who tried and failed to establish an enclave of like-minded people in Leith, N.D., is trying again. This time Craig Cobb and his people are eyeing Antler, N.D., a town of about 20 people near the Canadian border in Bottineau County. After his run-in with the law because of his conduct in Leith, Cobb now has turned his attention to Antler, where, he said last week, he's negotiating to buy property. On a Facebook page, his Antler designs are described as "...just a town with my people and only my people. Is that too much to ask?"
Well, yes, it is.
Given Cobb's record in Leith, which included a conviction for felony terrorizing and menacing residents, the people of Antler might want to do all they can to prevent his gaggle of troublemakers from settling there. Of course, Cobb has every right to live peacefully wherever he wants. But the operative word is "peacefully." The Leith episode and other incidents on his record suggest he and his friends define "peacefully" differently than most people.
Antler Mayor Bruce Hanson hadn't heard about Cobb's plans late last week. A Facebook posting by Antler ND, PLE (Pioneer Little Europe) details his aims, mentioning Cobb's plans to raise $70,000 to buy Antler properties. PLE is described as a white nationalist movement that urges followers to move to remote locations and form communities.
Hanson might not be fully aware of Cobb's adventure in Leith. The mayor was quoted Friday in a Forum News Service story: "It's really pretty hard to stop anybody from coming into town and buying stuff," he said. "It's kind of a private enterprise thing."
The mayor's sentiments seem a tad naive. He might want to take a lesson from Leith's mayor and people, who, when they found out what Cobb was really all about, moved quickly to condemn ramshackle property he'd already purchased, and to make appropriate changes in city law in response to Cobb's intentions.
Antler might have one easy way out. Cobb said he won't move to Antler unless the city changes its law to allow horses in the city limits. A little advice for Mayor Hanson and the good people of Antler: Leave the horse ban in place, and maybe Cobb and his haters will stay away.