Tubman Takes the Twenty

The most significant renovation of U.S. currency since 1929 is currently taking place. As of April 20, Harriet Tubman will replace Andrew Jackson on the U.S. $20 bill.

On Wednesday, April 20th, treasury secretary Jacob J. Lew announced that Harriet Tubman would replace Andrew Jackson, the seventh President of the United States, on the $20 bill.

The former slave and abolitionist is the first African-American to be featured on the face of U.S. currency and the first woman in almost a century.

Tubman managed to escape slavery in her 20s. She then dedicated her life to helping other slaves achieve their freedom through the Underground Railroad, a system of safe houses and abolitionists.

Many do not believe that Jackson deserved to be on the bill due to his legacy that includes forcible relocations of American Indians, a stance in favor of slavery and opposition to a national banking system and use of paper money.

After the Battle of New Orleans, Jackson was known as one of the greatest military heroes in the country. As president, he deliberately cast himself as the champion of the ordinary American “working man” against the bankers. Many people believe that deleting his face from the currency would mean erasing his “great American legacy.”

Andrew Jackson has fans such as former GOP Presidential candidate Ben Carson.

“Andrew Jackson was a tremendous president,” Carson told Fox Business News. “I mean, Andrew Jackson was the last president who actually balanced the federal budget, where we had no national debt.”

However, Jackson will not disappear entirely from the bill; he will appear on the back, next to the image of the White House.

This begs the question, does Jackson’s incomplete removal from the bill trounce the progress women gain from the Tubman bill change?

Ultimately, the $20 bill was chosen over the $10 bill to feature Tubman, partly due to the growing support from the public and partly because of the popularity of the Broadway musical “Hamilton,” which won this year’s Pulitzer Prize for drama.

“I felt that people needed to know how amazing her story was,” Catherine Clinton, who wrote Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom said. “She just wasn’t a figure from the Underground Railroad, she just wasn’t a self-emancipated slave, but she was a brave warrior in the fight against slavery.”

Unfortunately, many people thought otherwise. Almost on cue, as the news that former anti-slavery activist and women’s rights hero would be replacing the notorious ethnic cleanser on the $20 bill, the Internet steeled itself for the outpouring of anger and complaints coming from upset whites.

Excited liberals made some excellent jokes, such as comedian Samantha Bee, who said, “Yes! Finally, black women making a white man move to the back.” while white supremacists and racists, in general, were very displeased.

“This is a complete waste of money, foolish spending by the government again!” an angry Facebook member said. “This is an embarrassment to our country!!! Shows the whole world that idiots are running the country!”

Other critiques were much more concerned with her looks than her accomplishments.

“I hope they put a smile on Harriet Tubman for the $20 Bill, the Twitter member said. “I don’t like the change. Create a new bill for her, like the three dollar.”

Apparently women can’t ever escape commentary on their facial expressions — even when they’ve been dead for more than a century.

But a number of critics found that creating a “new bill” would be an easy solution to this not so welcomed change in currency. Some angry Twitter members went as far as to claim #WaronWhites for removing Jackson.

However, racist reactions were trumped when KKK members were reported having committed suicide after the announcement of bill change.

The U.S. Treasury says this revolutionary change isn’t set for an unveiling until 2020. This will mark the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which allowed women the right to vote.

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