Hooray For Harriet Tubman, But Please Leave Andrew Jackson Alone
It’s a touchy subject for the likes of me to comment on. After all, who am I to deny black folk’s desire to see Harriet Tubman on our currency?
Surely, Underground Railroad leader Harriet Tubman lands high on the list of African-Americans to honor as such, and while many may argue some others should have come first (Martin Luther King Jr. anyone? Or are all of those street names supposed to be enough?), there’s no denying she was one tough woman who deserves it. Her accomplishments, fortitude, bravery, sacrifices, and key role in helping escaping slaves and in the abolition of slavery are beyond reproach and well documented.
However, the proposed new $20 bill design means moving President Andrew Jackson to the back of the paper to make room for Tubman on the front, a sort of half-assed compromise to honor her, while still recognizing Jackson’s place in history.
It’s well understood why the Tubman On Money lobby (Yes, I just made that up) didn’t want her flying solo on a new $2 bill instead, because who the hell wants to be on a $2 bill? But I don’t understand why Obama, who approved of honoring her legacy this way towards the very end of his presidency, didn’t push for an additional $20 bill design, or another additional or new reasonable paper denomination with her image.
For example, wouldn’t most Americans easily accept and make good use of a $15 note? Why should she share a bill with Jackson when we can have a new denomination that makes everyone happy and saves paper? Seems crazy to have them on the same bill, since those two would probably have never gotten along anyway.
However, for now, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has put the brakes on “Can you give me change for a Tubman?”, citing counterfeit concerns and that the Treasury Department needs more time to get the new bill ready. A lot more time, not until after Trump leaves office after a possible second term. And not just right after he leaves office after a possible second term either. They want to wait until 2028!
And poor old Andrew Jackson is stuck in the middle of this controversy.
Mnuchin’s counterfeiting argument is, of course, suspect at best, or I will go so far as to say nutty. The real reason for the delay, of course:
There are many (yours truly, as well as Trump) who consider Jackson one of our greatest presidents ever. In fact he was THE greatest, having defined the power of the Presidency, warned against big banking, pushed the idea of power to the people, prevented the Civil War that Lincoln didn’t prevent, invented the debate of Federal versus State rights/power (he argued it from both sides depending on the issue), and he mapped out the future of our American economy and character.
Before all of this, he almost died and lost his brother to the British during colonial rule and the Revolutionary War (and acted as a courier against them), was a hero of the War of 1812 (those naughty Brits again), served in both Houses of Congress, and whose love for American independence was second to none. He didn’t just come to eventually lead America for two terms, he was America during his entire life, America personified.
However, since he had owned slaves at one time…like many others, including blacks…and since many Native Americans were treated very badly…but people forget that if Jackson didn’t do what he did you would be living in a teepee right now with no written language, much less books by Hillary Clinton to read, and they forget that he fought many Native Americans because they were paid by the Spanish to wreak havoc in the Americas…he’s considered a villain.
And if there’s one thing that liberals seem to love these days, it’s a villain. If it’s a white devil villain, all the better. (Can’t wait until they get around to Thomas Jefferson, who had sex with his best-looking slave Sally Hemmings for decades!)
The latest news is that the Treasury Department’s acting Inspector General Rich Delmar is going to launch an inquiry into the Tubman process and delay, at the request of anti-Trumper Senator Chuck Schumer. (So expect Delmar to be fired any day now.) If, as Delmar says, they discover areas of employee misconduct in the matter (what does that mean?), it will be referred to their Office of Investigations.
The “inquiry” is just part of a larger audit of the entire Treasury Departments, which will take about a year to complete. Delmar said 10 months. I say a year. Which means a year and a half, timing it during the election cycle to make Trump look bad. Schumer and Friends don’t need this at the forefront right now. They need it in November 2020, because do you think they really give a crap about Tubman on the twenty if it doesn’t mean votes for them?
This is, of course, a political matter, trying to right an Obama wrong. Unfortunately, today’s liberal environment precludes Trump et al. from telling the world that they’re not dissing Tubman, but instead, refusing to allow them to dis Jackson. Not only isn’t tearing someone down to build someone up the wrong way to go, in Jackson’s case, it’s ludicrous.
He’s an American icon worth fighting for, whether or not so many Americans are too foolish to realize it.