Sorry but I am fully convinced this is not about ideas but about Obama being "black" instead of "white." What you call 'most of the country' should properly translate as 'older low-educated white folks,' who are the backbone of the Republican voters and who are afraid of everyone who doesn't act, look, and think like them.
You say: "They run the risk, though, of alienating important constituencies who prefer a party with a spine, especially black voters." These senate candidates are running away from Obama because he is deeply disliked by white voters. Per Reuters, white voters approve/disapprove of Obama by 26% to 61%. No amount of black support can overcome those numbers. The only choice for a state-wide candidate is to run away.
I'm not convinced the change can be attributed to increasing liberalism in the Democratic party. Democrats have been the pro-choice party for decades. Obama is not especially liberal among Democratic presidents/nominees of the past 40 years.I do think Democrats have made at least two mistakes that contribute to this decline among Southern whites. First, in the struggle against Southern Republican gerrymandering, the push-back by judges and activist groups has been almost exclusively focused on preventing *racial minority* under-representation (as opposed to overall party representation).Imagine a state that is 60% white Republican, 20% white Democrat, and 20% black Democrat, with 10 House seats. Republicans have figured out that they can draw up districts that give black Democrats three seats and claim the remaining seven seats for themselves, thus making BOTH white Republicans AND black Democrats overrepresented. However, because this comes at the expense of white Democrats, it benefits Republicans overall.The other issue is that Democrats have used language that over-emphasizes advocacy for specific groups rather than principles, like fairness and opportunity, that apply to everyone. I would argue that middle class white men (I am one) best serve their interests by voting Democrat. When many Southern whites hear Democrats talk about addressing income inequality, they incorrectly interpret this to mean helping blacks but not whites (or even at the expense of whites).
You're right about the attention but you're wrong in assuming this could just as easily been between a white cop and assailant.The experience of the residents is that an assailant being black increases the chance a white cop will use more force more readily. They may exaggerate it but if that's their reality is carries more weight than your opinion, because they live there, you don't.As to what might have happened if the cop was black, that's also not very likely in Ferguson, so your ideas about what a black cop would have done is speculation not based on what can actually happen in Ferguson.
A number of comments suggest that such is the plight of young black men because a high percentage of perpetrators fit that description. I have a feeling, though, that even if an APB was broadcast to be on the lookout for a white male, not every (or many) white male(s) would be stopped and questioned; nor would the manner of the confrontation (ordered to the ground, handcuffed, property grabbed and searched) be similar. Many of the comments here unfortunately reinforce that our society still has such along way to go in seeing black men and black women as equal to white men and white women.
An overlooked demogrphic is that the median age of Ferguson's black residents is 28 while the median age of its white residents is 48. Ferguson is 67 percent black, but a significant perent of black residents are under voting age. Older voters tend to turnout in greater numbers than older volters. As the black population matures and the remaining white residents die of old age, Ferguson will beome an all-black city with all black officals and police officers. This demographic change hasn't porduced good results in cities like Detorit, which were once predominantly white.
In a predominantly black neighborhood, to have mostly white cops is pretty stupid. Any white cop using any kind of force on a black person there was eventually bound to be met with accusations of racism. While in this case I believe the cop was in the wrong - maybe not in the beginning, but after Michael backed off - eventually something that could be viewed as racial was bound to happen. If you want white cops in a black neighborhood, at least have the brains to partner them with a black cop
There is, among policemen, and underlying current of backlash to affirmative action.Most white cops don't like the fact there are black cops and most white cops believe there are black cops only because of affirmative action;;;and they are angry from the moment they begin their shifts until they are done for the day.When confronted by a black person, they react angrily...they shoot first and think later...usually with the support of their white brethren on the force.Little wonder so many young black men are sacrificed for this hate.
This is absolutely disgusting and it is race-baiting. I don't care which party does these kinds of appeals, it's absolutely wrong and antithetical to our democratic system.What's even worse is that, in this case, the party that's doing it is no stranger to these sort of tactics. During the 1870s, it was the Democratic Party that ran some of the most explicitly racist campaigns ever...think of the major race-baiting used by Horatio Seymour in 1872 painting himself as the "white" candidate and Grant as the "N-word" candidate. The slogan of the Democrats in that election was even more disturbing, "This is a white man's country, let white men rule."For a party that has this shameful history behind it, to be using the same tactics in reverse, in the hopes that it can save victory out of the jaws of defeat is beyond the pale of decency. I feel this way irrespective of the fact that Dixiecrats bolted to the Republicans and that Republicans themselves have used those tactics in the past. As someone else said on these posts, two wrongs don't make a right.But even more so, to equate a Republican electoral victory with the murder of black people or the tragedies of Martin and Ferguson, is absolutely ridiculous. We have elected the first black president, and we see higher levels of black unemployment than in previous years. Perhaps people are so tired of Obama's ineptitude that they just want a change. Let's not take this disgusting step labeling Republican voters as racists.