"There are eruptions of race whenever there are high profile cases in which white people are accused of real racist violence towards black people. It really isn't surprising. The context is that we're living through a time in which there are very real racial tensions in this society," Potok said.
"What we're seeing now are the opportunists from all sides. It's a bunch of vile, outside groups and I'm speaking of both the Black Panther party and National Socialist Group," he said.
Potok believes that the Martin case has irrevocably shaped the discussion on race in America, relating this case to the recent shooting in Tulsa, Okla., in which four black men and a woman were shot by two white men. Three of the shooting victims died.
"Inevitably it seems that the Tulsa shooting will be discussed in the same breath. Seems very different, but the Tulsa shootings will become a part of the Trayvon conversation because it's more evidence of very serious racial divides in this country," Potok said.