GOV Youngkin appoints a Confederacy apologist to the Virginia Board of Historic Resources — just another Youngkin appointment of a hard-core rightwing radical

Richmond, VA – Governor Youngkin’s Appointee to the Virginia Board of Historic Resources, Ann McLean, said several disgusting comments on WRVA Radio comparing the union during the Civil War to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, praising Robert E. Lee, and defending secession.

BLUE VIRGINIA: Gov. Youngkin’s New Appointee to the VA Board of Historic Resources Says Robert E. Lee Was a “Morally Fine Human Being”; “Secession Was NOT Treason”; the North’s “Invasion” of the South Was “just like we see Russia invading Ukraine”; etc.

According to McLean:

Robert E. Lee was a “morally fine human being who understood the constitution of 1787.”

The constitution was “broken when Lincoln called up 75,000 troops to fight against secession.” And, she added, “secession was not treason…each state was allowed to secede, we all had seceded from Britain…each state was like its own country, so Lee considered Virginia his country.”

“Invasion, just like we see Russia invading Ukraine, invading a new territory was wrong. And 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…slavery would have been outlawed in the South within 5 or 10 years, but they wanted to do it on their time.”

DPVA Chairwoman Susan Swecker responded to the latest disgusting remarks from a Youngkin appointee: 

It is appalling to see Governor Youngkin appoint someone to the Virginia Board of Historic Resources who somehow in one radio interview: 1) tried to defend secession 2) completely befuddle the language of our Constitution and 3) try to minimize the horrors of slavery with an inane statement that the south would have “phased it out” – as if one would go to war if that was the plan. And let’s not even get into her bizarre take on Russia and Ukraine.

I can’t believe that Governor Youngkin, as he prepares to launch his 2024 campaign, would knowingly appoint someone this unqualified and ignorant of history. We hope and are confident now that he is aware of this that the Governor will withdraw this appointment. We also hope Ann McLean’s advisers, for her own sake, don’t let her near a microphone again.

Richmond, Va. – Today, Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) issued the following statement after Governor Glenn Youngkin appointed “historian” Ann Hunter McLean to the Virginia Board of Historic Resources:

“If there was any doubt that Governor Youngkin is an extremist, right-wing politician, here is another example of his inflammatory priorities in action. Since taking office, his appointments have been divisive and contradictory to the values we hold here in the Commonwealth. His latest pick in Ann Hunter McLean demonstrates a frightening lack of cultural and social wherewithal to effectively lead Virginians or steer our great Commonwealth forward.

“For years – and particularly in the wake of George Floyd – civil rights advocates, community leaders, and elected officials in Virginia fought to dismantle oppressive memorials and monuments that paid homage to the Confederacy. To appoint McLean, who has vocally defended Confederate statues and monuments since the late 1990’s, to serve on the Board of Historic Resources shows a blatant disregard for Virginia’s sordid history with racism and the work we have done as a state to rectify those long-standing harms.

“This appointment demonstrates a complete lack of understanding or empathy for the lived experiences of African Americans. Monuments to traitors have no place in our Commonwealth, and we will not allow Governor Youngkin or Ms. McLean to drag us backwards.”