Toni Morrison’s novel ignites Virginia governor’s race

This year, Youngkin is focusing his closing post on what he calls “parental rights” – a global column for conservative causes like opposition to mask warrants, vaccine demands and human rights. transgender, and fueling fears about how race is taught in schools.

For months, the conservative media gave national attention to local events in suburban Loudoun County, Virginia, including a sexual assault case that rekindled Republican criticism of gender-neutral toilet policies in schools and the suspension of a physical education teacher who refused to address transgender students by the pronouns they identify with. Conservatives have also falsely claimed that Virginia schools teach “critical race theory,” an advanced academic concept that is not part of classroom instruction in the state.

Polls indicate these themes resonated with conservative voters in Virginia.

“I don’t have school-aged children, but I have no doubts that parents certainly have a say in what their children should learn,” said Tom Allen, 64, an airline pilot at the retreat from Herndon, Va. he went to a community center to vote for Mr. Youngkin early on Monday. “I don’t think anyone should ram political opinion down the throats of these little children.”

Yet Democrats also saw an opportunity to energize their supporters – by describing Mr. Youngkin, who opposes the right to abortion, as a threat not only to women’s control over their bodies, but also to the ability. schools to shape young minds.

“It went from banning a woman’s right to choose to banning books by a Pulitzer Prize-winning author,” President Biden said of the Republican candidate during a rally with Mr. McAuliffe in Arlington Tuesday night.

There, McAuliffe staff members distributed copies of “Beloved” and other books by Ms. Morrison, as well as bookmarks proclaiming Mr. Youngkin “would ban books in Virginia schools.” Liberal TV hosts were quick to schedule interviews with academics who touted the importance of his work.

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