Jan. 12, 2022
Analyzing Extremism w/ Mark Potok
Mark Potok is an internationally renowned expert …
Mark Potok is an internationally renowned expert on the American radical right, who, for 20 years helped lead the legendary Southern Poverty Law Center in exposing hate groups, right-wing terrorism, and the rapidly increasing infiltration of extremist ideas into the political mainstream. In that role, Potok faced numerous death threats from white supremacists and constant vilification by leaders of the far-right media — a remarkable measure of just how effective his work was. Potok has been described in one book on social justice activists as having “a reputation as the preeminent editorial commentator who follows the American radical right.” In 2018, a year after leaving SPLC, he joined the Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right as a Senior Fellow. As the director of the SPLC’s Intelligence Project and, later, Senior Fellow at the SPLC and Editor in Chief of its award-winning Intelligence Report investigative magazine, Potok was a key spokesman for the SPLC, a civil rights organization based in Alabama. He has testified before the U.S. Senate, the United Nations High Commission on Human Rights, the Helsinki Commission, and in other key venues.
In this second half of Rachel's conversation with Mark, he shares more of his perspective on the past, present, and future of the radical right, delving into his decades of experience with the Southern Poverty Law Center. Rachel and Mark exchange their ideas about how and why people are drawn to extremist groups and explore the commonalities behind a variety of far-right hate groups. Together they discuss the possible steps of action both individually and societally that may help to quell the increase in political violence and hate crimes.
Before You Go: Rachel explores the idea of hereditary hate, explaining how the impressionable nature of children makes them uniquely susceptible to indoctrination into hateful ideology.
For more info on Mark's work visit:
For more info on SPLC visit:
For more info on CARR visit:
Hear Rachel's thought on the U.S. Capitol insurrection:
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