I am not known as a fan of capitalism, but i must say that i am thrilled by the announcement that Harriet Tubman’s picture will be the new face of the $20 bill. There is a special irony in her picture replacing that of Andrew Jackson.
Andrew Jackson who oversaw wars of aggression against Native Americans; broken treaties with Native Americans; and then ordered the notorious Trail of Tears expulsion of Native Americans from the southeastern United States. Added to this, Andrew Jackson became the ideological founding father of the conservative populism that we have lived with ever since. The conservative, and frequently right-wing populism, that insists that the USA is a white republic that must look out for the common (white) man. This is the right-wing populism that we see in full display in the Trump and Cruz campaigns at the national level, as well as any number of local candidacies. Good-bye, President Jackson!
For sure, Harriet Tubman’s picture is symbolic and does not represent a fundamental defeat of right-wing populism, nor a recognition on the part of the USA of its crimes against Native Americans. It also does not represent an apology for slavery. But its symbolism is, nevertheless, important, and as such is a victory in the battle to redefine US history, removing the myths that we have been sold since 1783.
Harriet Tubman is the revolutionary face that we need on the currency today and the revolutionary face we will need on the currency when there is a a fundamental, and progressive social transformation of this territory known as the United States of America.
4 thoughts on “Here’s looking at you, Harriet Tubman”
Unfortunately they are apparently keeping Andrew Jackson’s picture on the other side of the 20$ bill, which will unleash the mother of all cognitive dissonances. Slaveowner, genocidal warrior against maroon communities and indigenous peoples on one side, anti-white supremacist freedom fighter on the other
Good point. It shows us that the struggle certainly continues!
I thought that that keeping Jackson on the back was some sick joke rather than real!
Thanks for saying it better than I could. Now we all need to check out Harriet Tubman history. An aside for reaching the maximum number of people: If this had a photo and I shared it to FB, more people would check it out. I’ve already shared it however I notice that most of my FB “friends” have filtered out non-photos or FB tends to send them only my photos.