What brought race and ethnic relations to the forefront again in the 1980s?

It was actually an accumulation of several incidents.

  • Although it was actually in 1979, the Iranian hostage crisis of the U.S. embassy in Tehran created tensions that carried into the 1980s.
  • The 1981 Brixton Riot
  • Handsworth Riots in both 1981 and 1985
  • The Broadwater Farm Riot in 1985
  • White supremacist movement in the Marquette Park area of Chicago involving firebombings of homes and other violence
  • Jesse Jackson ran for president.
  • Jesse Jackson referred to New York City by a disparaging name, referring to the Jewish population.