Despite the Tubman Hype, Andrew Jackson Will Stay on the $20 Bill
After multiple reports that freedom fighter Harriet Tubman would “replace” president and slave master Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew announced that he’ll stay there—just on the back.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
The Internet was all abuzz today about the Treasury Department replacing dead president and slave master Andrew Jackson with freedom fighter Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill. Dozens of outlets reported on it as if it was a done deal although the official announcement from Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew hadn’t come.
Well, around 4 p.m. ET, Lew did announce that Tubman is going to be on the front of the $20 bill. But in a surprise twist, Treasury will keep Jackson on the currency—just on the back.
From Lew’s open letter, baffling in its lack of an explanation:
The decision to put Harriet Tubman on the new $20 was driven by thousands of responses we received from Americans young and old. I have been particularly struck by the many comments and reactions from children for whom Harriet Tubman is not just a historical figure, but a role model for leadership and participation in our democracy. …
Looking back on her life, Tubman once said, “I would fight for liberty so long as my strength lasted.” And she did fight, for the freedom of slaves and for the right of women to vote. Her incredible story of courage and commitment to equality embodies the ideals of democracy that our nation celebrates, and we will continue to value her legacy by honoring her on our currency. The reverse of the new $20 will continue to feature the White House as well as an image of President Andrew Jackson.
The Treasury Department also launched a special website called Modern Money. It shows that the new $10 bill will keep Alexander Hamilton on the front but place what it calls a tribute to suffragists Lucretia Mott, Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Alice Paul on the back.
The new $5 will continue to feature President Abraham Lincoln on the front. The reverse “will depict the historic events that have occurred at the Lincoln Memorial” including Black opera singer Marian Anderson’s 1939 appearance there and the original March on Washington.
Several people have suggested that Tubman on the front, Jackson on the back is a late April Fool’s joke or the product of a 4/20 binge. It is neither. It’s America.
Talking about an insult of the lowest common denominator.
Ms. Tubman on the front of the $20 bill, with racist and genocidist Jackson on the back.
Obviously, it is still hard for the federal government to let go of this monster, even in 2016.
But, as the author of the article stated, “It’s America.”
It has been reported that the change may not go into effect until 2030, but the idea of having a woman, especially a Black American woman, on the bill is cause enough for celebration.
No matter how vicious the actions of Jackson were, it is no surprise that he will remain on the $20 bill.
Not long after the news was released, out of the woodwork came the cry-babies, sexists and racists who just could not abide having this courageous woman on the $20 bill:
Down With AntiWhites @prowhitesunite
Cameron Vinson @Cameron_Vinson
Replace a president with Harriet Tubman for no reason? Okay https://twitter.com/ap/status/722831154601205760 …
Dathan Scroggs @DathanScroggs
This just aint right. Femnism, soacialism and afffirmative action. All against God #whitegenocide
Then, there are the “Why can’t a woman smile more often, like say, 24/7” types who came out gnashing their teeth:
TERRY W DRAKE @TERRYWDRAKE
I hope they put a smile on Harriet Tubman for the $20 Bill. I don’t like the change. Create a new bill for her, like the three dollar.
Obviously people have no idea how photography occurred during Ms. Tubman’s time. It was a long process requiring the sitter to remain still after a particularly bright flash directed their way.
America still has not come to terms the acknowledgment of its bloody carnage of race-based slavery, the destruction of Reconstruction and Jane Crow segregation.
So, Jackson will never be removed from U.S. currency, no matter what, and it is business as usual and a mountain of insults to Ms. Tubman who has done more to help the lives of so many around her unlike Jackson.