Virginia governor Glenn Youngkin tapped prominent anti-critical race theory activist Angela Sailor as the state’s new director of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
“The people of Virginia elected the most diverse leadership in the Commonwealth’s history. Virginia is big enough for the hopes and dreams of a diverse people. Angela Sailor’s experience in government, nonprofits and the private sector will guide us as we ensure that the government is working for all Virginians across our diverse Commonwealth, especially when it comes to economic opportunity for all Virginians,” Youngkin said.
In appointing her to the position, Youngkin also issued an executive order that will reorient the office away from realizing racialized equality-of-outcome objectives. Instead, the office will focus on creating economic opportunity for disadvantaged Virginians, enforcing “free speech and civil discourse” in academia, and ensuring that students receive an “honest, objective, and complete” civic education,” Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.
The governor also announced that he would introduce legislation to change the word “equity” in the office’s name to “opportunity.”
Without specifying racial background, the executive order reads: “…too many of our citizens have not received the equal opportunity they deserve, and we recognize that diversity when genuinely embraced strengthens our Commonwealth.”
Sailor’s resume includes experiences in government, the corporate world, and the political think tank realm. She has served as vice president of the Heritage Foundation’s Feulner Institute, director of African American Affairs for former President George W. Bush’s presidential campaign, and deputy chief of staff for former U.S. Education Secretary Rod Paige, among others.
Sailor has expressed views in the line with Youngkin’s promise to curb the teaching of critical race theory in Virginia public schools, which he did as one of his first orders of business upon assuming office last weekend. His office said he signed an executive order that “delivers on his Day One promise to restore excellence in education by ending the use of divisive concepts, including Critical Race Theory, in public education.”
Sailor has written multiple pieces for the Heritage Foundation arguing that critical race theory is harmful to children, applauding the work of the 1776 commission, the advisory committee established by former President Trump to foster a “patriotic education,” and stating the important role parents play in education. Youngkin made parent participation in education a hallmark of his campaign platform.
“People have the freedom to use CRT as a weapon to cast hate. Or we can use core civic knowledge as an opportunity to reset, understand our common political inheritance, and build a stronger community with our children,” she said in an article titled “Most Parents and Teachers Are Done With Critical Race Theory.”
In another piece, she claimed that the progressive buzzwords “diversity” and “inclusion” act as a shroud to conceal what is actually critical race theory, a narrow lens of American history that treats racism as its founding and integral flaw.
“No one would argue that children shouldn’t be thoroughly taught about the evils of racism, slavery, and segregation that happened in this country,” she wrote in July. “But [critical race theory] ignores the hundreds of thousands of lives that were sacrificed during the Civil War to end slavery, the long struggle of the civil rights movement to end segregation and win equality, and the reality that the nation has made great progress.”