Maine Currents 11/3/20: Mark Potok on Hate Groups in the US

Producer/Host: Amy Browne

We’re continuing our series on hate groups this month, with a talk by Mark Potok sponsored by the Maine Jewish Film Festival, the Jewish Community Alliance, the Maine Jewish Museum and the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine. He spoke about hate groups in the US and the current political climate on October 7th, 2020.

An excerpt from Mark Potok’s bio: “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. An acclaimed and dynamic speaker, he has given scores of keynote talks in university, government and other settings throughout the United States and Europe. They include such prestigious forums as the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.”

Potok was featured in the award-winning 2018 film “Alt-Right: Age of Rage”

Barbara Merson, Executive Director of the Maine Jewish Film Festival was the moderator

About the host:
Amy Browne started out at WERU as a volunteer news & public affairs producer in 2000, co-hosting/co-producing RadioActive with Meredith DeFrancesco. She joined the team of Voices producers a few years later, and has been WERU’s News & Public Affairs Manager since January, 2006. In addition to RadioActive, Voices and Maine Currents, she also produced and hosted the WERU News Report for several years. She has produced segments for national programs including Free Speech Radio News, This Way Out, Making Contact, Workers Independent News, Pacifica PeaceWatch, and Live Wire News, and has contributed to Democracy Now and the WBAI News Report. She is the recipient of the 2014 Excellence in Environmental Journalism Award from the Sierra Club of Maine, and the First Place 2017 Radio News Award from the Maine Association of Broadcasters.