It may seem as though racial tensions in the U.S. have been subdued, but every so often, someone such as Craig Paul Cobbwill come around and remind us of the ignorance that continues to thrive in America.
A self-described white supremacist, Cobb wants to create a white utopia in the town of Leith, N.D., population 24.
Thus far, Cobb has purchased 12 plots of land, the majority of the town. There he will create his “Pioneer Little Europe” for fellow white supremacist members, where “white nationalist banners will be flown.”
Cobb is a well-known racist in both Canada and the U.S. He has a warrant out for his arrest in Canada and has been banned from Estonia for “endangering state security, public order, public safety, morality, health and other public interests.”
At 61 years old, you would hope someone would outgrow his or her discriminatory ways, yet Cobb continues to make a name for himself as a bigot.
Cobb made it clear that people of other races, even Leith’s single black resident. would not be welcomed in his new utopia. Most would agree these actions are appalling and do not reflect true American values. We are a nation that promotes equality for all men and women.
The sane citizens of Leith and the rest of the state of North Dakota have begun to push back against Cobb’s despicable plan.
Both the greatest, and occasionally the worst right, the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech allows people to spread their ignorance. Cobb’s actions would outrage any red-blooded American, but of course, nothing can be done because no laws have been broken.
Although we may not want to admit it, Cobb’s unwillingness to welcome other races can be examined in parallel with the continual chastising of undocumented immigrants in Arizona. Many Arizona citizens want to deny immigrants the chance to make a life in arguably one of the greatest countries in the world.
We sometimes proclaim ourselves to be a nation that loves “equality” while we are willing to deprive those we do not consider worthy of this right, in the same way that Cobb is denying blacks, Latinos and Jewish citizens the right to coexist.
Americans sometimes have a tendency to use a narrow lens and believe racism only exists in the extreme cases, such as Cobb’s proposed racist, whites-only dystopia. I do not personally know a single individual who would agree with Cobb’s attempt to push out other races and ethnicities. However, I know many who would love to push out undocumented immigrants or who believe they are not worthy of the same respect and dignity as all other people.
The argument is always the same. There are claims that undocumented immigrants will commit crimes, will cause havoc in our lives and overpopulate the U.S., leaving whites to be the minority — an argument that sounds eerily familiar to the stance of most white supremacists.
Our nation’s slightly newer obsession with ridding the country of undocumented immigrants is just another link in a long chain of accepted racism in the nation — it’s just a little more subtle.
Putting aside the bigotry, most of us condemn Cobb’s action because his ideas are outdated. However, 100 years ago this would have been considered a splendid one, just as some might relish the idea of deporting all undocumented immigrants today.
Until our nation accepts that even subtle forms of racism exist and recognizes just how despicable it is, people like Craig Paul Cobb will continue to exist and will continue to spread their hate around to others.
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