Trayvon Martin and Five Other Racial Flare-Ups Since Obama's Election
|Trayvon Martin's Feb. 26 killing has reopened racial wounds in this country|
But the Trayvon Martin killing is, sadly, just the latest in a series of race-related controversies since the 2008 election. Here are five of the most inflammatory.
5. Jeremiah Wright's "God Damn America" Sermon
Occurring a good eight months before the '08 election, this controversy was an early clue that Obama's election wasn't going to turn a country with centuries of slavery and racial inequality into a nation of colorblind BFFs overnight. Some of Wright's comments were way out there, in particular his claims that the government gave black people AIDS. But the media didn't help by reducing him to enraged, out-of-context soundbites. In fact, at the heart of his sermons is a distrust of government not unlike what fuels the Tea Party:
"The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing 'God Bless America.' No, no, no, God damn America, that's in the Bible for killing innocent people," he said in his 2003 sermon. "God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme."
|O'Keefe on Fox News|
Conservative activist James O'Keefe wasn't actually dressed up like a pimp when he sauntered into an office of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) in 2009, but his selectively edited videos made it appear that way. And when he secretly recorded several ACORN employees giving him advice, it created a firestorm of criticism that ended in Congress pulling the plug on the 40-year-old organization. Many liberals saw the manufactured controversy as an attack on the mostly poor (and Democrat-leaning) minorities aided by the organization. To conservatives, O'Keefe was a hero of Andrew Breitbart-like proportions. O'Keefe was later arrested for trying to sneak into the office of Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana.