Harriet Tubman to Replace Andrew Jackson on U.S. $20 Bill

Photo Credit: Library of Congress

It's official after many discussions and debates. Today it was announced by the U.S. Treasury Department that legendary African freedom fighter, Harriet Tubman will replace racist U.S. President Andrew Jackson on the U.S. $20 bill. Harriet Tubman was an abolitionist, spy, and humanitarian who escorted thousands of slaves from the Southern United States to the Northern United States to freedom. Harriet was so badass, she never got caught by bounty hunters during her many trips back and forth from the North to the South. In 2015, a grassroots organization called WomenOn20s rallied for women to be represented on U.S. currency in which Harriet Tubman was one of the finalists. It was also reported that other designs featuring civil rights leaders and women leaders will also be placed on pieces of currency. These new designs from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing are to be officially set into place in 2020.

While I know the racists are somewhere pressed and brewing up a protest of some sort, and I feel it's great that someone as despicable and evil as Andrew Jackson will be replaced, I'm not buying the genuine nature of this act. In my opinion, this is nothing but pacification to Black America. Not only to Black America, but it also aims to convince non-Black people and people outside the U.S. that progress for Black folks is evident. Another "Black first", another symbolic gesture with no real substance or depth. To add, Andrew Jackson will still be on the $20 bill, but he will be on the back while Tubman is on the front. Still symbolic of historic turmoil and our current state. While Harriet Tubman's likeliness lies on the $20 bill, Black Americans will still face injustice and systematic genocide by the hands of this system. Just yesterday it was reported that former NYPD cop Peter Liang got off for the ujust murder of Akai Gurley. I also noticed how quiet the media was about this, although it is expected.

The cycle never stops. Seeing that Harriet Tubman was so anti-establishment, I wonder if she would even approve of this. I feel as though Harriet will turn into another "Martin Luther King Jr." buzzword for undercover racists and racially insensitive folk to casually use in order to convince Black people racism and systematic injustice is non-existent, and many will fall for the jedi mind tricks. The great Ms. Tubman will also probably be reduced into this symbol to shut Black women in particular up about injustice, misogyny, and sexism. "Why are you complaining? Harriet Tubman is Black and a woman and she's on the $20 bill!" I can see it now. Even in death, dehumanized in order to keep her people quiet for a "kumbaya" sing along. Quite frankly, Harriet Tubman wasn't even considered human, let alone a U.S. citizen. Why is the U.S. Treasury and government so eager all of a sudden to showcase our heroes?

On a brighter and more positive note, I do think this will also give more people the opportunity to research Ms. Tubman's legacy as well as the legacy slavery has left on this country. But given the history of this country and the injustice and turmoil still experienced today by Black people, we still must call out this illusion of inclusion. I'm always wary when the "oppressors" want to join in the "revolution". Throwing a few crumbs while destroying a people is not "progress". I'll be convinced when the reparations come rolling in and when injustice against Black people ceases.

Why We Should Keep Harriet Tubman and Rosa Parks Off the $20 Bill



Post a Comment