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Va. GOP Gubernatorial Ad Touts White Mom Who Targeted Toni Morrison’s ‘Beloved’ (Watch)

Laura Murphy
Laura Murphy in a campaign ad for GOP Virginia gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin

*The Republican nominee for governor of Virginia is championing a mother known locally for her efforts to remove Toni Morrison’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Beloved from schools, saying it gave her teenage son nightmares.

A recent campaign ad for Glenn Youngkin features Laura Murphy saying, “As a parent, it’s tough to catch everything, so when my son showed me his reading assignment, my heart sunk. It was some of the most explicit material you can imagine. I met with lawmakers. They couldn’t believe what I was showing them.”

Watch below:

Murphy doesn’t name the literary source of her outrage, but locals know that she is speaking of Beloved, Morrison’s beautifully-disturbing 1987 novel about a post-Civil War family of former slaves whose Cincinnati home is haunted by a malevolent spirit. The book was adapted into a film produced by and starring Oprah Winfrey in 1998.

In Youngkin’s ad, Murphy complains that his Democratic challenger, and Virginia’s previous governor, Terry McAuliffe, allegedly didn’t want parents to have a say in their children’s education. Her crusade against Beloved being taught in an Advanced Placement (AP) English class began in 2012, when she campaigned for future AP English classes to provide separate reading options if a chosen book — chosen specifically for advanced students — has sexually explicit content.

The school board voted against her request. Twitter, meanwhile, was quite amused by her fragility. Frankly, Morrison’s story about slavery’s psychological impact on the enslaved is the stuff of nightmares.

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