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Shortly before the 2008 election, 56 percent of Americans surveyed by the Gallup organization said that race relations would improve if Obama were elected. One day after his victory, 70 percent said race relations would improve and only 10 percent predicted they would get worse.Just weeks after taking office, Obama said, "There was justifiable pride on the part of the country that we had taken a step to move us beyond some of the searing legacies of racial discrimination."Then came this February's killing of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman, whose father is white and mother is from Peru. Authorities initially declined to charge Zimmerman with a crime, causing a polarizing uproar.
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