In what’s both a blatant ploy for attention and the ultimate act of adulation, a self-described white supremacist attempting for the second time to carve out an all-white enclave in remote North Dakota said he may name it after real estate mogul Donald Trump.
The Grand Forks Herald newspaper reported earlier this month that Craig Cobb planned to change the name of the town of Antler, North Dakota to “Trump Creativity” or “Creativity Trump.” It’s a mash-up of the Republican presidential candidate, whom Cobb told the newspaper he admires, and the Creativity Movement, a self-styled religion to which Cobb subscribes that promotes the superiority of white people.
“Some of the citizens aren’t happy with the situation,” Bottineau County Sheriff Steve Watson told the newspaper of Cobb’s plan.
But Cobb may never make enough headway in establishing his Aryan utopia to name it after Trump. Like his first attempt at taking over the small town of Leith, North Dakota, the white supremacist’s plans for Antler are being thwarted by the town’s residents.
In this Aug. 26, 2013 Associated press file photo, white supremacist Craig Cobb stands in an empty lot he owned in Leith, N.D.
Cobb gave a down payment last month to a former Antler resident for a bank he planned to turn into a Creativity Movement church and two residential lots for his followers to build on, according to the newspaper. But Antler Mayor Bruce Hanson told The Grand Forks Herald that the former resident ultimately accepted an offer from the city of $35,000 for more than 20 properties—effectively shutting Cobb out.
Cobb, a hate crimes fugitive from Canada who is currently on probation for brandishing a gun at Leith residents in 2013, joins a number of other individuals with known white supremacist leanings who’ve expressed their adoration for Trump.
As Vocativ reported, the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer posted an “official endorsement” of Trump’s candidacy while the Council of Conservative Citizen’s Kyle Rogers encouraged his Twitter followers to purchase Trump 2016 T-shirts (his account has since been deactivated). Dylann Roof, the white 21-year-old who allegedly gunned down nine black churchgoers earlier this summer in Charleston, South Carolina, credited the Council of Conservative Citizen with opening his eyes to black-on-white crime in a chilling manifesto posted online.
Trump supporters recently also have taken to assailing critics of the billionaire — including some conservative journalists — on Twitter as “cuckservatives,” a term that has white nationalist implications. As Jeet Heer explained at The New Republic, the slur “emerged out of the white supremacist movement as a term of abuse for white conservatives deemed race traitors unwilling to forthrightly defend the interests of white America.”
It goes without saying that the stated support from white supremacists doesn’t make Trump one himself. Yet in response to a question about a Boston hate crime allegedly inspired by his anti-Hispanic immigrant rhetoric, Trump immediately pivoted to praising his supporters.
“They love this country,” he said at a New Hampshire town hall. “They want this country to be great again. But they are very passionate. I will say that.”
By Friday, though, the celebrity mogul issued a stronger condemnation of the attack in which two South Boston brothers beat and urinated on a homeless man because he looked Hispanic.
“We need energy and passion, but we must treat each other with respect,” he tweeted. “I would never condone violence.”
Brothers Scott and Steve Leader allegedly beat and urinated on a homeless man because he was Hispanic. Image via WHDH.
TPM illustration by Nick R. Martin. Photos via AP.
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at email@example.com.