The stunning victory of Jim Webb in the Virginia senate race indicates a shift in racial attitudes in that Commonwealth. I'm not a demographer, so can't say whether it's white people evolving their views, more African-Americans participating in the electoral process, more members of other ethnic groups voting, or a combination of the three. But given that George Allen was ahead by 16% (as expected) before his Macaca comment and people coming out of the woodwork claiming a history of Allen being racially insensitive (to say the least), I have to chalk the Webb victory up to a reaction to Allen's evident bigotry. And of course it helped that Webb is not some wild-eyed liberal, but a decorated veteran who has served in the Pentagon under a Republican president. The fact that Webb is a critic of the war in Iraq who has a son serving there helped, but the fact is he was well behind until Allen exposed himself (so to speak).
Thursday, November 09, 2006