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Listen to SPLC’s Mark Potok Discuss Rise in Extremism on NPR’s Fresh Air

Mark Potok discusses the recent explosion of right-wing extremism in an interview with Terry Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air this week, citing the SPLC’s new report.

Mark Potok discusses the recent explosion of right-wing extremism in an interview with Terry Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air this week. The interview came amid a wave of vandalism and threats of violence aimed at members of Congress who voted for health care reform legislation. 

The SPLC recently released “Rage on the Right,” its annual count of active hate and extremist groups in the U.S. The report documented a surge in extremism as militias and other groups steeped in wild, antigovernment conspiracy theories exploited populist anger across the country and infiltrated the mainstream.

The report found a 244 percent increase in the number of antigovernment “Patriot” groups, which include armed militias. Potok told Fresh Air listeners that the ideas of these groups and others on the radical right are being spread and validated by mainstream media figures and politicians. Listen to the full interview or read the transcript.