Virginia gubernatorial candidate Corey Stewart has made his opposition to the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville a centerpiece of his campaign.
He has even gone as far as to say that “only tyrants erase history,” in his defense of the landmark. Plenty of Virginians agree that the statue should stand, but Corey has a problem — his own past efforts to “erase history.”
Just last year, Prince William County officials decided to rename a school previously named after Mills Godwin, a former Virginia Governor who participated in “massive resistance,” a strategy aimed at slowing down de-segregation of the Commonwealth.
Was Corey opposed to “erasing history” less than 12 months ago? The answer is no:
“We’re not going to spend any money on that,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart, At-large, of the name change. “It sounds like the School Board made a good compromise here, and we’re not going to penny pinch if the costs are minimal just to mail out a few voter cards, but the Schools are going to incur the cost of the change.”
In a public address, Stewart also said the renaming of the school was a “long, long, long time coming,” and asked the crowd if they were excited to dump the Mills Godwin homage.
Corey’s only concerns seemed to be about cost, and he ended up being a hypocrite on that issue as well. It would inevitably cost PWC taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars:
The decision to rename the school was the result of a unanimous vote from the Prince William School Board earlier this year, which was met with a great deal of controversy in the county, particularly when it was projected that $500,000 would be spent in the renaming process.
The total for the renaming process was ultimately $265,700.
Opposition to the removal of the Lee statue is not absurd, but it is absurd for Stewart, a Minnesota native, to champion himself as some sort of hero of Virginia heritage when he “erased history” just months ago in his own backyard.