Ann Hunter McLean, a historian who defends Confederate statues and asserts that slavery was not the primary cause of the Civil War, has resigned from the Virginia Board of Historic Resources over what a spokesman for Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) called a disagreement about priorities.
“After discussion about our Administration’s goals and priorities and Dr. McLean’s, Dr. McLean resigned,” Youngkin spokeswoman Macaulay Porter said via text message. The resignation was effective Monday. Youngkin had appointed McLean, the former head of a Christian school, to the board in mid-July.
In an email Wednesday to The Washington Post in response to questions about her resignation, McLean struck a defiant tone, saying that Virginians should examine their “actual full and honest history — not a simplified version used for political reasons. I am excited to be completely free now to share that history with people and to speak up to stop the destruction of our shared cultural heritage.”
After the social justice protests of 2020, when Richmond began removing monuments to Confederate icons such as Gens. Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, McLean gave numerous interviews in which she lauded Lee’s character and complained that Virginia’s heritage was “under attack.”
“This whole tragedy is that these statues were built to tell the true story of the American South to people 500 years from now,” McLean said to a Richmond radio host on Dec. 23, 2021. “People want to destroy the evidence of that story,” she continued, saying the Civil War was fought for the “sovereignty of each state and constitutional law.”