Bobby and Sherrill Harper (inset box); Paul Craig Cobb (screenshot/CNN)
Bobby and Sherrill Harper (inset box); Paul Craig Cobb (screenshot/CNN)

In a town as small as Leith, N.D. (population: 16), Bobby and Sherrill Harper stick out like sore thumbs, Bobby especially. They are the town's only interracial couple, and Bobby is the only black man. But according to CNN, one Leith resident, Paul Craig Cobb, thinks Bobby is one black person too many.

Paul Craig Cobb wants to transform the town 70 miles southwest of Bismarck into a community that mirrors his white supremacist views. He did so quietly at first, asking residents whether their land was for sale.


The Harpers have received messages echoing Cobb's sentiments, including one letter that was written to Sherrill Harper specifically.

The Harpers have felt their wrath, including a letter they received Friday that read, in part: "I want you to leave your "husband" and go join Mr. Cobb's movement. Do it now! Separation of the races forever!"

The target of that missive, Sherrill Harper, says that's just one of many she's received calling her a "filthy, race-mixing white woman" and "pea-brained."

But the husband and wife maintain they aren't leaving Leith anytime soon.

"I have roots in this town," she told CNN's John Berman on Friday night, alongside Bobby. "I have a reason to be here."

Sherill Harper recalls running into Cobb last year and he asked her if she had property for sale. She said no.

Bobby Harper said Cobb asked him the same question.

"He has the audacity to even ask me for information to buy land, and his intentions were to harm my way of life?" he said. "… That's very, very uncomfortable for me."

How successful was Cobb, who is wanted in Canada on hate speech charges, in buying up the town? The Harpers say that residents have been overwhelmingly supportive of them.


Read more at CNN.

Jozen Cummings is the author and creator of the popular relationship blog Until I Get Married, which is currently in development for a television series with Warner Bros. He also hosts a weekly podcast with WNYC about Empire called Empire Afterparty, is a contributor at and works at Twitter as an editorial curator. Follow him on Twitter.


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