A new report shows a decline in the number of far-right extremist groups in the country, two groups that monitor such activity had a lukewarm reaction, reports USA Today. The study in the quarterly Intelligence Report by the Southern Poverty Law Center indicates that after what it called “four years of spectacular growth” after the 2008 election of Barack Obama, the numbers of far-right extremist groups are showing a decrease, from 1,007 in 2012 to 939 last year. In 2011, the number of far-right extremist groups reached a peak at 1,018.
A steeper drop came among “patriot” or anti-government groups, which went from 1,360 in 2012 to 1,096 last year. “The radical right is growing leaner and meaner,” said report editor Mark Potok. “The numbers are down somewhat but the potential for violence remains high.” Hilary Shelton, director of the NAACP Washington bureau, was cautiously optimistic about the report. While his organization views the reported decline as good news, he noted that the Justice Department has reported a rise in hate crimes against African Americans, and that 70 percent of the victims of such crimes are African American.