Leith situation gets worse

Does anyone think the situation in Leith is going to end peacefully?

We certainly hope we’re wrong, but the tension seems to be growing among residents of the small North?Dakota town, where white supremacists have moved to establish a white enclave.

This past weekend, Craig Cobb and Kynan Dutton, self-professed white supremacists, were arrested after allegedly confronting two Leith residents while carrying firearms. Grant County Sheriff Steve Bay said he is preparing evidence to file charges of terrorizing against the two men.

Cobb, in a text message, told a North Dakota newspaper that “Because of the many violences and harassments against we and the children, we have commenced armed patrols of Leith.” Cobb has purchased 13 properties in the small town, and has said he intends to take over the town’s government to make the town attractive to others who share his white supremacist views.

Perhaps the arrest of Cobb and Dutton will at least temporarily defuse the situation in Leith, but we wouldn’t expect the peace to last long. There are likely supporters of the two men ready to help defend them. Perhaps there is no quick fix to return Leith to the peaceful town it was just a few months ago. We hope we’re wrong. We hope the situation doesn’t escalate further, because the next step is likely to lead to violence and bloodshed, and that is something no reasonable North?Dakota residents want to happen.