Craig Cobb's got a little black in him

If you’ve never heard of him, this guy’s a real piece of work.

White supremacist and leader of the so-called “Creative Movement”, Craig Cobb was born and raised in Boston. He grew disenchanted with Christianity when his racism was too much even for the more intolerant churches, inherited some money, and moved to Estonia to build a white supremacist movement. There, he founded a white supremacist media sharing website called Podblanc. Then he was deported to Canada after the Estonian government decided he was a hateful asshat; he landed in Vancouver where he was issued a summons to appear in court over Canada’s hate speech laws with respect to his site. He skipped across the border and is wanted in Canada to this day. Cobb is currently trying to remake Leith, North Dakota in his lily-white image.

Only, hilariously, turns out he’s not so lily-white after all. He appeared on The Trisha Goddard show, a UK daytime talk show, agreeing to take a DNA test to prove his white purity. That this was for a daytime talk show should have been a red flag for him, but he plowed ahead anyway.

He has, naturally, since claimed that the DNA test was a sham to build phony controversy.

The interesting thing about science is that it’s replicable. I would pay good money for him to send more DNA samples to other companies, blinded wherever possible. It’s extraordinarily likely that he’s going to have “sub-Saharan African” ancestry in every test, given how humanity has generally evolved, and I’d love for him to have that particular fact so unequivocally proven as to undermine his philosophy for the rest of his days.

You’ve got a little black in you, man. You hate yourself — and every other human being on the planet, ultimately.

Craig Cobb's got a little black in him

24 thoughts on “Craig Cobb's got a little black in him

  1. 1

    We’ve all got a little — make that a lot — make that 100% — African ancestry in us, since the human species originated there. Ol’ Craig probably denies evolution as well, however.

  2. 2

    “He has, naturally, since claimed that the DNA test was a sham to build phony controversy.”

    Because there’s nothing controversial about this guy. Nope, nothing to see here!

  3. 5

    Can I point out that in our glee at the man’s discomfiture, we are also doing splash damage to POC, by “validating” his ridiculous theories about the importance of race? Granted that no one sensible is going to think we’re really thinking less of Cobb because he’s got “black” in him, it’s kind of like rape culture and why it’s wrong to say prison rape is somehow “justified”: most people might know full well that it isn’t, but the rapist listening thinks he just got validation for his idea that rape is wanted.

    The racists listening to this are getting that same validation: that there is something Cobb should be ashamed of. We know we’re talking about his racism. The racist hears that we’re talking about his hypocrisy, not his racism.

    Just a thought to consider.

  4. 6

    I’ve never been able to understand how white supremacists can believe that a lack of melanin and therefore being poorly protected from ultraviolet light is somehow a badge of superiority.

  5. 7

    Absolutely right, CaitieCat. Any schadenfreude found here is from seeing him hoisted by his own petard. He is no more or less a villain now that he knows his DNA is not as Aryan as he once thought, than before this knowledge came to light. Nobody here, at least, is scoffing at him for being part black — we ALL are part black, because we are all human beings, and that’s just how the human genome and evolution works.

    I personally am amused by the fact that his racist brothers are sure to turn on him for this knowledge, despite the fact that none of them are “pure” by their own standards.

  6. 8

    I don’t think I said it as clearly as I could, because I don’t think your answer answers what I meant, but I acknowledge that’s entirely my fault for poor communication. I’m hosting a guest beagle this week, and the two-a-day walking is making my old bones so damn sore that I’m juiced to the eyeballs on my painkillers, and I’m feeling about as coherent as Richard Cohen.

    Maybe someone reading will be able to understand and make the point more clearly. As usual, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with disagreeing, just raising the question: how does our laughter look to someone who doesn’t share our disgust at racism? Does it not perhaps reinforce their beliefs, in the same way that rape jokes unchallenged allow the rapist to think that everyone around them approves of rape? Is that better, or did I just say the same thing again and expect a different reaction?

    Sorry I can’t be more cogent on this, perhaps in the morning.

  7. 10

    CaitieCat, I think I know what you mean. It’s quite like the “all homophobes are closet cases” narrative.

    I’ll admit that when one of these mouthfoamers does indeed turn out to be hiding secret yearnings, I can’t resist a little chuckle of schadenfreude (I’m still waiting on Andrew Shirvell). But framing it as neener neeenerrrr, you just say that because you’re gaaaaay, sounds uncomfortably like the homophobic bullying it is intended to highlight. It’s still framing being queer as something to be mocked.

    This is kind of the same – even though we know we are exposing someone else’s racism, doing so by laughing at them for being a bit black is somewhat too close to the real thing.

    Is that what you meant?

  8. 11

    CaitieCat at #8,

    Thank you for that comment. I feel there is a parallel that makes me a little reluctant when the statement, “We’re ALL Africans” gets mentioned. Yes, all humans have a common genetic ancestry that emerged from a geographic region that we identify with the label “Africa.”

    But Africa is not just a label we apply to a land mass. Africa is also a socio-cultural construct, with immense diversity, complexity, culture, dynamism, and history. I have never had to worry about dengue fever, nor lived in a nation rent by civil war (during the time I have been alive), nor been subject to all kinds of colonialism by other nations proximal and distant alike (in fact, I’m a resident of a nation that is pretty imperial in its approach to much of the geopolitical environment), and similar.

    I have a genetic ancestry from a geographic region common to all humans, but that doesn’t make me African in the socio-political and socio-cultural sense, and I worry that the statement, “We are all Africans” may itself be a colonizing/appropriating sentiment that undermines the very real, important, powerful, and evolving experiences and growth of people living in and native to the African continent (which itself has so much socio-cultural and political diversity as to render the idea of Africa as somehow “one place” — except as a means to label a particular land mass — fairly ludicrous). I also worry that even just my comment here is an act of appropriation or colonialism.

    Thank you again for your comment. It adds much to the discussion.

    Also, Hello, Jason! I hope this finds you well. Nice to see you again, nice to be back. Thank you for your work here.

    Still learning,


  9. 12

    Taking up where Desert Son@11 left off, the “14% sub-Saharan African” means, if the test is accurate and properly applied, that Cobb has recent sub-Saharan African ancestry, i.e. he’s “got a little black in him” in the sense he would understand himself: he’s almost certainly descended from people brought to America from Africa as slaves. The fact that we’re all of African descent if you go back far enough is irrelevant here.

  10. 13

    Yes, thanks very much embertine and Desert Son, those are the ideas I was trying poorly to express. I know that no one posting above means to suggest in any way that there’s anything wrong with having 14% African DNA (which, wow, there are so many problematic things about that characterization that I don’t even arglebargle). I totally do know that.

    But I think our doing so has an edge of…maybe that being a somehow-hypocritical racist is worse than just being a racist? And that I cannot but think that at least for me, my white privilege plays into thinking that this might hold some water?

    To a PoC, whether the racist is or isn’t a hypocrite is a long way from being the important part, just as to a Jewish woman in the Warsaw Ghetto, whether or not that SS soldier was a vegan (and thus a hypocrite about killing) was really not essential to the understanding of whether he was likely to be Very Very Evil or not.

    Thanks to both of you for helping me tease out the discomfort there, and thanks Jason for letting the conversation happen here.

  11. 14

    I will absolutely agree that, to a racist, our chuckling at the racist being “hoisted by his own petard” looks like it’s just us agreeing with them that “being even part black is bad”. I can’t imagine what it might look like to people of colour, but I can suggest that we ask them.

    For instance, I grabbed the Youtube link for this even though I first saw it on the HuffPo post where the black anchor laughed that the guy would have to burn crosses on his own lawn.

    So at least some black folks are finding it funny too. That doesn’t absolve us of any potential splash damage, but it does mean that we’re not the only ones thinking it.

    By all means, this is a great conversation, I have no problem whatsoever with hosting it and even playing a little bit of devil’s advocate here. (Only as far as I’m comfortable though!)

    Also, hey there Robert, great to see you again too!

  12. 17

    This doesn’t surprise me at all. Despite all of the moaning about inter-racial marriages that marked racial discourse in the United States for the past 400 years or so, race-mixing is more American than apple pie or baseball. That “black” people come in so many different colors illustrates this fact well. I suspect that anyone whose family has been in the US since before the Civil War is part-African or has black cousins they don’t know about.

  13. 18

    My parents and I recently had our genomes sequenced. We discovered that my mother and I have sub-saharan ancestry and the geneologists in our family have no clue where along the line it comes from. We think it is totally cool. Oddly, we both have more Neanderthal than African DNA.

  14. Pen

    On the subject of humour, I don’t mind laughing at a racist fool for turning out to have recent African ancestry, but #16 crossed the taste line for me. Words fly and all that, but I just thought I’d mention it.

    Interesting question since this happened in Brit: are the sensitivities and senses of humour of the Black British similar on the whole to those of African Americans (or Canadians). Personally, I would not think so for one minute.

  15. 20

    Pen, interesting to consider. I can’t speak as a member but we don’t have the same history with slavery & segregation here that the US has, our various black minorities are more the result of immigration. There’s problems with racism for sure – institutional/post-colonial and otherwise – but it seems to have a different focus.

  16. 21

    The fact he didn’t know is another shame on our culture. If you have an ancestor who you can’t find much info on, it’s possible he or she was a light skinned black who moved away from family and cut all ties in order to live a decent life as a white person. No one should have to do that.

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