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Viewpoint: Could a ‘Nazi’ takeover happen in U.S.?
A tiny town in North Dakota by the name of Leith is now facing trouble with the threat of Neo Nazis threatening to take over and turn it into a white supremacist town. One of the twenty-four citizens of the town – Craig Cobb – is the one behind this movement. He has invited several members of one of the largest Neo Nazi organizations to join him in securing the town for whites only. The town has been in decline for decades and with its small local government this makes Cobb believe it will be easy to take over.
Bobby Harper, the town’s only black citizen, was willing “to tolerate Cobb as long as he kept to himself, but he’s angry now that Cobb has invited other white separatists to join him” (NPR). Harper is upset that Cobb is bringing in so many people that are only filled with hatred for him because of the color of his skin and he doesn’t believe that’s right.
When Cobb moved to Leith last year he proceeded to buy twelve properties and has “given most of them away to people who are notorious in the white separatist movement. He gave one to a former Ku Klux Klan leader and another to Jeff Schoep, leader of one of the nation’s largest neo-Nazi organizations, the National Socialist Movement” (NPR). Cobb has invited his fellow Neo Nazis for two days starting Sunday to showcase his vision on an all-white society and would fly flags of the formerly white nations of Europe.
Cobb’s plans don’t end with Leith, though. He plans to take over other small towns near oil fields, like the town of Alkabo. With a laugh Cobb said, “‘A little bit like ‘al-Qaida’ but ‘Alkabo’’” (NPR). Several citizens of Leith feel hopeless – despite laws like the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1968 – and believe they should dissolve their council and transfer power to another county. Harper, though, says he won’t be driven out of his home that easily and says Cobb would have to do something very drastic to make him feel unsafe.
The fact that Neo Nazis now feel confident in taking over towns – no matter how small or in decline they are – does not pose good things. Sure, they seem small and likely to fail due to the laws we have but it was like that in Germany once upon a time until Hitler was elected to power. Even if this never leads to a full out war it could very well lead to a small battle right in the middle of Leith or any other towns they try to take over.
Neo Nazis have thrived because they were protected by their right of free speech. Well, what they are planning is going beyond that now and an effort must be made to end their plans of hatred. Bobby Harper is already showing the courage to stand up to them be refusing to leave until he feels worse comes to worse.
The U.S. government must take action into putting an end to Neo Nazi activities before someone gets hurt as a result.