Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) has appointed a historian to the state Board of Historic Resources who has defended the state’s Confederate monuments and condemned their destruction as a “dangerous” rewriting of history.
Ann Hunter McLean of Richmond, the former head of a Christian school, told an online publication that she believes Virginia’s heritage is “under attack” as she begins serving on the board, which oversees state historic-site designations.
Last year, as the last vestiges of Richmond’s Confederate monuments were being taken down in the wake of social justice protests, McLean lamented the loss.
“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, after state archivists opened a time capsule found under the site where the statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee once stood on Monument Avenue. “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.”
Then-Gov. Ralph Northam (D) had taken down the Lee statue as a racist symbol erected to honor a war that was fought to preserve slavery. McLean said Northam’s actions amounted to “lawlessness.”
Last year, Youngkin acknowledged Northam’s authority to take down the statue under a decision by the Supreme Court of Virginia.
Macaulay Porter, a spokeswoman for Youngkin, said Friday via text that “the governor supports preserving the history of Virginia and believes that the referenced statues should be preserved in a museum or other facility.”
McLean did not respond Friday to an email and a phone message requesting comment. She was quoted in the online publication Virginia Star as saying in an interview that she was uncertain whether her role on the board would involve decisions regarding monuments.