5 Questions for People Who Are Outraged Over Harriet Tubman on our $20 Bill

In a rather unexpected announcement on Wednesday, it was revealed that Harriet Tubman will replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill. While the selection of Tubman wasn’t a surprise, it did catch a lot of people off-guard that she’ll be on the $20 rather than the $10.

Naturally, selecting an African-American female to replace a white male caused quite the stir among the racists and those who don’t think they’re racist – but are definitely racist. Just don’t tell that to many of the folks on the right who seem to think that racism is no longer an issue.

For the rest of us who are fully aware that racism is still alive and well in the United States in 2016, we all knew some sort of racially driven freak out was going to accompany this announcement whenever it officially happened.

Though in the spirit of this highly predictable (yet completely absurd) reaction to the news that the country is going to honor a true American hero, I thought I’d ask five questions to those who seem to be bothered by this news.

1. Why do you really care? Has the image of Andrew Jackson on the $20 had a profound impact on your life? If so, please, tell me how.

2. Can you please list all the ways Harriet Tubman being on the $20 is going to make your life worse or make you feel like less of an American?

3. Be honest, before all of this became a story, did you really even know who was on the $20? In fact, can you list who’s on each of the following: $1, $5, $10, $50, $100 – as well as the penny, dime and quarter? And before I asked this question, had you really ever wasted much of your time (aside from maybe outside of a middle school Social Studies class) thinking about it?

4. Give me a good reason why an American hero who risked her life as a spy for the Union in the pursuit of freeing human beings from the horrific nightmare of slavery doesn’t deserve to be honored more so than a president who’s best known for his barbaric treatment of Native Americans?

5. Many have claimed this isn’t about racism. Well, then tell me, do you really think there would be this big of an uproar by many on the right if they were replacing Andrew Jackson with Ronald Reagan, Nancy Reagan or any other white historical figure who Republicans idolize?

This is one of those situations that perfectly display what I mean by “fake outrage.” It’s people getting worked up, heated and hostile over something that doesn’t impact a single thing in any of their lives. It’s just a bunch of ignorant jackasses and racists throwing a hissy fit over a symbolic gesture by this country to finally acknowledge and honor both a female and an African-American who played a huge role in making this country a whole hell of a lot better by opposing slavery and helping free millions of slaves.

But unless these folks can actually provide reasonable and rational answers to the questions I just listed, then they really just need to sit down and shut the hell up.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments

  • I plan to keep these questions in mind as I know I’ll hear some people bitching about this “issue”.

  • strayaway

    I’m ok with Harriet Tubman, or some other women, being on coins and paper money. Why not? Sacagawea (great choice) and Susan Anthony have had their turn. I was unrealistically hoping that Carli Lloyd would be put on for one year for her extraordinary performance in the World Cup but Harriet Tubman expanded freedom and that’s a story worth telling. Maybe someday Edward Snowden can similarly be memorialized for his role in revealing dark forces at work in the Obama administration.

    However, the press is reporting that Obama is behind theses currency changes; adding Eleanor Roosevelt, Harriet Tubman, Marian Anderson, and MLK. Perhaps this is misreporting. I would have thought that Congress was in charge of currency so it came as a surprise to find the power delegated to making currency changes, even if cosmetic, coming from the executive branch. Congress could, of course, pass legislation to make these changes for the President to sign.

    I would also have preferred to remove Hamilton instead of Jackson. Jackson won the greatest US victory in the war of 1812 for the US and he drove corrupt bankers out of the Capitol. He was a peoples’ president. Hamilton, on the other hand, had elite tendencies favoring more executive kingly rule and supported the bankers.

    • Kevin S. Wilson

      You appear to be having difficulty distinguishing the press from right-wing web sites peddling bullshit, misinformation, and lies.

      • strayaway

        You might consider my opinions such as being ok with Harriet Tubman on the twenty to be “bullshit” but what “lies” are you referring to? As a poster, your status would be enhanced if you could be specific instead of laying down a fog of name calling.

      • Kevin S. Wilson

        You also seem to be having difficulty understanding a simple comment. I don’t give a red rat’s ass what you think about Harriet Tubman on the twenty. I simply noted that your claim that “the press is reporting that Obama is behind these currency changes” is nonsense, unless you are so delusional and gullible that you think a handful of right-wing web sites constitutes “the press.”

        You can prove me wrong, of course. Just cite a half-dozen or so articles in legitimate, authoritative news outlets (you know, “the press”) that claim that Obama is “behind these currency changes.”

        Your turn, hoss.

      • strayaway

        Good, now you are being more specific.The Secretary of the Treasury is appointed by the President with the consent of the Senate. President Obama is responsible for the Secretary’s decisions. As Truman used to say, “The buck stops here”. As Obama would say, “It’s Bush’s fault”. (Couldn’t resist)

        You requested that I “cite a half-dozen or so articles in legitimate, authoritative news outlets (you know, “the press”) that claim that Obama is “behind these currency changes.” 1)The Boston Globe wrote, “A “Massachusetts girl who wrote a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to put a woman on U.S. paper currency has gotten her wish. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew announced Wednesday that African-American abolitionist Harriet Tubman will be featured on the front of the $20 bill. Sofia turned 11 years old Wednesday. The Cambridge girl says it was the ‘‘greatest birthday present ever.’’ 2) The Washington Post showed the girl’s picture. 3) It was an AP story by the way. 4) “The changes are part of an effort by the Obama administration to put a woman on paper currency…” -abc news 5) “The President welcomes Secretary Lew’s important announcement that our next currency will honor the contributions that women and civil rights leaders have made to our country, celebrate our democracy and reflect the rich history of the United States and the struggles for freedom and equal rights,” (White House Secretary) Friedman said. -politico 6) “It doesn’t take an “Act of Congress” – it just requires the Secretary of the Treasury to make the change.
        That man is Jack Lew, appointed by President Obama, and confirmed by the Senate in 2013.” -USA Today

        So there you are. I did your homework for you (You’re welcome) and you were wrong. I am used to providing for libs. The USA Today, however, omits the fact that the Secretary of the Treasury can be overridden by Congress although I don’t know why Congress would consider doing so.

    • noah vail

      if i;m not mistaken the battle of new orleans to which i assume you are referring was actually fought two weeks after the war was over…..

      • strayaway

        Right. Peace had been declared in Brussels but the war continued in the US as word of the settlement had not arrived. Jackson delivered one of the most lopsided victories in US history.

    • mgentry77

      Snowden is a traitor and deserves death. He didn’t do anything noble. If he had passed the information straight to the American people that would have been better.

      • strayaway

        Snowden is a whistleblower who revealed that our Director of National Intelligence James Clapper lied to Congress. The Obama administration lying to and spying on the American public and Congress, knowing this, is doing nothing in response is leading to tyranny. Snowden broke laws just as Harriet Tubman did to restore freedom. I suspect that slave owners would have responded much like you did to the actions of Harriet Tubman.

  • Christine Chapman

    and in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1……christian conservatives heads willNOW explode

    • HLain

      Sorry liberal trash but I couldn’t care less.

      • Done to Death

        You cared enough to log in and comment. So, because of the English language being an actual thing, you COULD care less than you do. In fact, please do. And see yourself out to another discussion where you are more useful. I hear there’s a lot of folks on Stormfront who are passionate about this.

  • james black

    What next,treyvon Martin on the 1,Mike brown on the 5 and Freddie grey on the 10.she was so common thief stealing property,no different at the time than stealing cattle

    • wckoko

      And by “property”, you mean human beings. Nice.

      • james black

        At that time,slaves were considered property,look it up

      • LA

        Course the white simple minded man has a problem with this. Bet if they put Luke Bryan on the twenty you wouldent have a problem

      • james black

        No,I feel there really should not be anyone on our money. What purpose does it serve? But of course,to a racist welfare broodmare I’m simple minded

    • Andy Kinnard

      Your comment profile suggests that you are perpetually wrong.

      I see nothing has changed.

      • james black


  • Wolf


    I do think it funny that in most historically accurate depictions, she was a gun totting Republican.

    • ziggywiggy
      • Wolf

        I will try to it so you can understand this. First, you use snopes to try to counter my article, that is hilarious! Second, I didn’t post anything referring to Stagecoach Mary, by word or picture. Third, snopes dopes got much of their “rebuttal” wrong.