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.
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