Culture wars roaring back with Virginia’s Toni Morrison book battle


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how did it start? Conservatives say it is leftist. Liberals Say This Flavor Is Right Wing

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Now the culture war has broken out over who is waging the culture war.

Conservatives say it is leftist. Liberals say it is a naughty right wing.


One thing that’s not in contention is that it’s back, big time.

And I think it’s a fair statement that the two sides are fully engaged. It is as if each party is accused of “playing politics” with this or that issue while standing on principle. Let’s just say that political ideas are never too far from the minds of politicians.

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You might imagine, in the midst of a pandemic and inflation and global supply chain problems, culture stuff would be put back on the back burner. But hot buttons start ringing during election time.

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So, in the run for governor of Virginia, what started out as a mother’s complaint about a book eight years ago is suddenly the hottest topic for Terry McAuliffe and Glenn Youngkin. And that means it’s gaining national coverage, as pundits have decided that Tuesday’s election — a dead summer right now — will have a huge midterm impact.

The fact that McAuliffe, a former governor and DNC president, has had to bring in both Joe Biden and Barack Obama to bolster his campaign against Youngkin, a little-known nascent backed by Donald Trump, is revealing.

Obama dismissed the book controversy as not “serious”: “We don’t have time to waste on these fake culture wars, this fake outrage, the right-wing media pedals to juice up their ratings.”

But it has touched a nerve, partly because the book in question is “Beved,” the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Toni Morrison. This is a Civil War story about a black woman who kills her daughter instead of raising her in slavery.

A woman in Northern Virginia objected to the book’s graphic depiction of sex and violence, and helped persuade the state legislature on a bipartisan basis – allowing parents to leave their children out of discussion of such material To pass a bill for giving, as with sex- ed course. Nearly half of Commonwealth districts already had such policies in place. As governor, McAuliffe vetoed the bill twice.

Youngkin joined the fight, with the lady Laura Murphy being cast in an advertisement. Cite difficult rhetoric.

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McAuliffe accused his rival of using schools and children as “political pawns,” adding his “divisive culture war” message to “ban the book and silence respected black writers is a racist dog whistle.” But no one is demanding a ban on books.

Youngkin’s campaign counterattacked that McAuliffe “wants to silence parents because he doesn’t believe they should have a say in their child’s education.” But is it a coincidence that he is fighting for the first black woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature?

Virginians gathered to support Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin.

In any case, if you’re a parent with a child at school, it’s not a bogus issue. Many parents are concerned about agenda-driven curricula and are concerned that they do not have an adequate role in local education. This can motivate people as much in the form of rising prices at the pump.

The “culture war” has become a dismissive term for some disputes that you think the other side has waged and you don’t care about. But when it comes to education, abortion, immigration, gun control, critical race theory and gender equality (on which the Biden White House just released a 42-page report), they won’t be effective if they strike a nerve. do not.

As far as who started it, don’t assume no one is getting out of it. And when Virginia chooses its next governor, you’ll hear endless spin on whether the “dear” fight was a boon or a bust.

Author Toni Morrison looks at her medal after being awarded France's highest award, the Officer de la Légion d'honneur, the Legion of Honour, during a ceremony at the Ministry of Culture in Paris on November 3, 2010.  (Reuters)

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