After a massive uprising in Virginia several years ago, many confederate statues were defaced or completely torn down. As such, the topic of the confederate monuments still remains a controversial topic amongst Virginia citizens.
Recently, the conservative Governor of Virginia, Youngkin, appointed Ann McLean to the Virginia Board of Historic Resources. McLean previously worked at a Christian school and was picked by Youngkin to join the Board in July of this year.
Last year, McLean sat for an interview with radio host John Reid on the WRVA channel. During her interview, she made several statements that many felt were a defense of the Southern Confederacy and what the Southern Confederacy stood for. Historically, the Southern Confederacy refers to 11 states that renounced their existing agreement with others of the United States in 1860–1861 and attempted to establish a new nation in which the authority of the central government would be strictly limited and the institution of slavery would be protected.
During the radio interview, McLean is quoted making the following statement: “I think that the Southerners knew that their story of why they fought the Civil War was not being told correctly,” “Fake news, or false narratives, are not new, and this whole tragedy is that these statues were built to tell the true story of the American South to people 500 years from now. “But we have forces right here 150 years later that want to destroy the evidence of that story, and you know, the fight for the sovereignty of each state.”
Furthermore, McLean went back on the same radio show last month and continued to discuss the subject of the Confederacy and slavery:
“Secession was not treason. Everyone was allowed, each state was allowed to secede. We all had seceded from Britain, so that’s what, each state was like its own country. So Lee considered Virginia his country and, you know, invasion, just like we see, you know, Russia invading Ukraine, invading a new territory was wrong. So many people want to just flatten the whole Civil War to slavery and, of course, we know slavery is not good but I think the South, I think a lot of slavery would’ve been outlawed in the South within five to ten years but they wanted to do it on their own time.” - ANN MCLEAN ON THE JOHN REID SHOW ON JULY 18, 2022
Governor Youngkin's spokesperson, Macaulay Porter, issued the following statement about the matter, "The Governor had previously acknowledged that he did not agree with (her) statements and the Administration is focused on ensuring that our Commonwealth’s rich history and resources are preserved, the good and the bad, for future generations of Virginians and visitors." Porter further noted that “After discussion about our Administration’s goals and priorities and Dr. McLean’s, Dr. McLean resigned from the Board of Historic Resources effective August 1, 2022,”
At the present time, almost all of the Confederate statues in the state have been defaced or removed. The statue of the Confederate general stands in the middle of a North Richmond intersection and a handful of smaller statues under state control still dot Capitol Square.
Virginia residents, do you think McLean has a right to share her viewpoint? Is she wrong? Let us know in the comments.