Virginia’s newly sworn-in Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears, the first woman to hold the position, called on Americans to move away from the divisive race rhetoric being pushed by politicians and the media.
Speaking to Fox News, Sears, a Jamaican immigrant who migrated to the United States when she was six years old, expressed her hopes that kids today will be able to find inspiration from her experiences in America.
“I think I am a visible success story that says to people, ‘You can do it. You will do it. No matter your gender, no matter your colour, even no matter where you were born.’ Because here I am, this is not my country, not my culture. I came from Jamaica and here, I have made it,” Sears said.
Sears pointed out how she is now the number two official in what was once the capital of the Confederacy, which was once hostile to people of colour holding any position in government whatsoever.
Sears, who is a Republican, compared her approach to race to those of progressive politicians who fan the flames of racial division and blame everything on white supremacy.
“Are you going to look at the glass as half full or as half empty? Because if it’s half empty that’s a negative view of life,” Sears explained. “That’s where too many of our political leaders come from and all it does is serve their, I think, nefarious agenda to divide us and to say you’re a victim, you’re always going to be a victim, and the other people are the oppressors and so you need us.”
Sears expressed discomfort with being asked about being the first black woman to be elected Lieutenant Governor in Virginia, pointing out that mentioning her race ignores the larger picture of being the first woman of any ethnicity to assume the role.
“And I think that’s part of the problem. We, for lack of a better word, segregate ourselves in divisive ways,” she said. “That’s not conducive to healthy relationships.”
Reflecting on newly elected Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s executive order banning the teaching of critical race theory and other “divisive concepts” in public schools, Sears says that it was important to teach history.
The advocates of critical race theory often conflate the woke progressive ideology with history and racial issues in general.
“You have to teach about the racial issues,” said Sears, who is not a CRT advocate.
Referring to actual history, Sears added: “We need to know where we were wrong so that we can move forward and right things. The way to right things is to have that opportunity to have a good education. It is to give parents choice. We’re going to teach everything, we’re not going to sugarcoat anything, because the one thing we’ve learned from history, as someone once said, is that we don’t learn from history.”
Sears identified Nelson Mandela as an example of how to deal with adversity without being burdened by negative experiences.
“He wasn’t looking for retribution,” said Sears of Mandela. “He wanted to say let’s talk about what happened and let’s move on because we must. We can’t keep dividing ourselves. Those are the kinds of leaders we’re looking for.”