Last Updated on January 2, 2022
Virginia’s GOP Governor-elect, Glenn Youngkin is standing by silently as outgoing Democrat Governor Ralph Northam and Richmond City officials plan to give the toppled Robert E. Lee monument to a discriminatory black history museum as “protest art.”
The Governor’s office, alongside officials from the City of Richmond, announced in recent days that custody of the historic Robert E. Lee Monument and several other statues memorializing Confederate heroes will be transferred to Virginia’s Black History Museum and Cultural Center. The museum, also based in Richmond, offers an outwardly left-wing historical narrative and actively discriminates against American citizens, forcing patrons to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination before entry.
Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney says he will present the plans to the city council for a vote next month, which is expected to pass.
Thus far, the plans appear to leave the ultimate fate of the physical monuments up in the air, tasking museum officials and members of the “local community” with the final decision. Some on the left have suggested following suit with nearby Charlottesville, who gave their Confederate monuments to a black history museum to be melted down and “repurposed” as left-wing art, a far cry from the proposals made by Democrat politicians when they began tearing down monuments in the first place, claiming that they would be properly displayed on battlefields or in war museums.
As was the case in Charlottesville, state and local Richmond officials received offers from heritage and preservation groups hoping to acquire the statues as pieces of American history but declined their offers.
Despite his lame-duck status as an outgoing Governor whose Democrat Party experienced historic losses in November’s General Election, Ralph Northam played a key role in the statue giveaway process, boasting in a statement announcing the plans that the Lee Monument deserved a special place in the black history museum because it served as “protest art” after being severely vandalized by Black Lives Matter militants.
Though most of the toppled Confederate monuments were the property of the City of Richmond, the Lee Monument, removed in September of 2021, was in the custody of state authorities, giving the Governor ultimate control over it before Northam relinquished custody with just weeks remaining in his term, putting a dagger in any hopes Virginians had that a Youngkin Administration may restore the monument to its former glory.
Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin, a Republican who won the 2021 election amidst a statewide culture war surrounding left-wing race and gender ideals, has stayed quiet on the statue drama, despite his inauguration being less than a month away.
Many in the GOP base have expressed disbelief at Youngkin’s silence, while some had hoped that a Republican administration would restore, or at least make an effort to protect, Virginia’s historic sites.
“The Virginia Flaggers are disappointed in the lack of any kind of statement or comment from Governor-Elect Youngkin, or anyone in Republican leadership in Virginia, regarding Ralph Northam’s illegal giveaway of the magnificent Robert E Lee Monument, a $12 million dollar gift of taxpayer money to the lawless city of Richmond,” Barry Isenhour, a spokesman with the heritage group The Virginia Flaggers, told National File. “This lack of leadership and intestinal fortitude is especially troubling after the mandate Republicans received in the election just a few weeks ago, voting out the party of monument destroyers, and voting down every single referendum that would have removed memorials,” continued Isenhour.
“We are hopeful that Youngkin and his administration are simply waiting for the inauguration to make their move and will be watching closely. The citizens of the Commonwealth have spoken loud and clear and demand that the wholesale desecration and destruction not only end immediately, but that the memorials and monuments that have been removed be restored and replaced. If they fail to act on this matter, the momentum to take back the Commonwealth from the extremist on the left may very well end before it has a chance to truly begin.”
Though he hasn’t issued any recent statements or responded to National File’s request for comment, Glenn Youngkin and the rest of the GOP’s 2021 statewide ticket have supported Democrats’ destruction of Virginia’s history, backing and even celebrating the removal of the Lee Monument ahead of Election Day 2021. Youngkin also threw his support behind the demise of other statues targetted by radical Democrats, with a spokesman telling National File in September that “Glenn Youngkin believes these decisions should be made by the local community, not dictated from Richmond.”
The campaign of Youngkin’s Lieutenant Governor, Winsome Sears, took things even further, with spokesman Mike Allers bragging when the Lee Monument came down that “today is the day where the historic symbols of Oppression [sic] by the Democratic Party are over,” and echoed the talking points of Black Lives Matter in saying that “we must move Virginia forward in a brand new inclusive direction full [of] opportunity and promise for ALL Virginians!”
For her part, Winsome Sears, who came to the United States as an immigrant, has said that no “true Republican” would support the existence of Southern heritage monuments.