Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin’s new ad features a mother who tried to get Toni Morrison’s “Beloved” banned from schools, The Hill reports.
Youngkin’s new ad stars Laura Murphy, who lobbied to require schools to inform parents if books on their child’s curriculum include explicit content and allow them to opt-out of those readings.
Murphy said in the ad that she got support from lawmakers but former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who is running for a second non-consecutive term, shut her campaign down.
"It was bipartisan. It gave parents a say, the option to choose an alternative for my children," Murphy said. "But then Gov. Terry McAuliffe vetoed it twice. He doesn't think parents should have a say. He said that. He shut us out."
Murphy tried to get Morrison banned:
Murphy did not say that the book she tried to get banned was “Beloved,” which tells the story of former slaves after the Civil War and depicts graphic details about slavery.
Murphy’s son, Blake, who was in high school at the time and was required to read the book for an AP course, told The Washington Post in 2013 that the book was "disgusting" and "hard for him to handle.”
“I’m not some crazy book burner,” Murphy told the outlet. “I have great respect and admiration for our Fairfax County educators. The school system is second to none. But I disagree with the administration at a policy level.”
McAuliffe fires back:
Youngkin issued a statement noting that 18 Democratic lawmakers supported the bill that Murphy was pushing.
"The bipartisan bills McAuliffe vetoed would simply have notified parents of sexually explicit reading assignments and given them the choice of having their own child receive an alternative," Youngkin's campaign said. "McAuliffe continues to confirm every day that he wants to silence parents because he doesn’t believe they should have a say in their child’s education."
McAuliffe said in a statement on Monday that "book banning and silencing esteemed Black authors is a racist dog whistle."
“I have long said that Glenn Youngkin is using our schools and children as political pawns to advance his and Trump’s dangerous, out-of-touch and bigoted agenda here in Virginia. Doing so is disturbing, disgusting and disqualifying," McAuliffe said. "Do not be deceived, this is yet another example of Glenn Youngkin’s full embrace of Donald Trump, and Virginians will reject both Youngkin and Trump at the polls next week.”