This documentary isn’t finished yet, but I couldn’t resist posting it, because the story’s interesting and the trailer is eerie as hell. Back in 2012, a guy named Craig Cobb moved into a ghost town in North Dakota called Leith (pronounce Leeth), which had between 16 and 24 residents, depending on who you ask.
May of 2012, Cobb moved in and started buying up property. He accumulated twelve plots of land, some empty, some with houses in various states of disrepair. People figured he’d moved in to be close to the Bakken oil fields some 70 miles north. Turns out he was a notorious white separatist who was plotting a takeover of the city government. Shortly after his plans were unveiled, a family of fellow white separatists moved in to start fixing up his properties. [Vimeo]
The filmmakers, Michael Nichols and Christopher Walker, say they heard about Leith and Cobb from a New York Times article about it, detailing Cobb’s plan to turn the town into haven for white separatists/nationalists/nazis. Nichols and Walker are still looking for funds to finish the project.
[Cobb] is using Craigslist and white power message boards to entice others in the movement to take refuge in Leith, about two hours southwest of Bismarck. On one board, he detailed his vision for the community — an enclave where residents fly “racialist” banners, where they are able to import enough “responsible hard core” white nationalists to take control of the town government, where “leftist journalists or antis” who “come and try to make trouble” will face arrest.
That clearly hasn’t worked yet, or else a couple of filmmakers from Brooklyn wouldn’t be hawking their documentary about it. If Cobb looks or sounds familiar, by the way, it might because he was the white supremacist who found out he had 14 percent “Sub Saharan African DNA” on The Trisha Show (note: I have no idea what that is) last year. In another fine bit of poetic justice, it turns out that some of the nice white separatists Cobb invited to Leith ended up vandalizing his house after his Trisha Show appearance went viral.
According to local prosecutors, after other white supremacists in Leith learned that Cobb possessed “sub-Sarahan African” DNA, one of them — currently not identified by name by the police — spray-painted “BACK IN BLACK” on Cobb’s house. Grant County Assistant State’s Attorney Todd Schwarz told the Los Angeles Times that the man “painted on the house, ‘BACK IN BLACK,’ and he’s not an AC/DC fan.”
Oh please, everyone‘s an AC/DC fan. Also, that graffiti is rather indirect and ambiguous for a group of people you generally see sieg-heiling and shouting “n*gger.” Nonetheless, the graffiti led Cobb and a follower to go on a “patrol” of the town carrying guns, which got Cobb and his accomplice, Kynan Dutton, arrested on charges of terrorizing. His cash-only bail was set a $1 million, with the judge noting that Cobb was a flight risk on account of already being a fugitive from charges of inciting hate in Canada. The Leith City Council (which I can only assume includes almost everyone in the town) also voted to enact zoning restrictions to keep Cobb and followers from squatting on his property without sewage or running water (Cobb’s property has neither).
One of the problems with these guys is that virtually their entire ideology is based on a persecution complex, which is preposterous in a vacuum, but becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy when they start doing things like trying to take over towns and acting as their own police force (I suppose a similar thing happened to Hitler, didn’t it?). I don’t really know what the solution is. Don’t push back? That doesn’t really help either. I guess that’s why I moved to a city, where the obnoxious white people carry clipboards and soy lattes instead of rifles.