Thursday, April 9, 2015

Show women the money

Harriet Tubman fits well on the $20 bill
The "Women on 20s" campaign is off to a fast start with the field pared down to four worthy candidates to replace President Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill.

The final four are: Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman and Wilma Mankiller.

By putting a woman on what America holds most dearest in the almighty dollar, the "Women on 20s" effort would replace one of the more disturbing presidents in our history.

Jackson owned hundreds of slaves, forced Native Americans from their lands and supported Texas in its war with Mexico over slavery. (For all the "enlightenment" of our slave-owning Founding Fathers, it's worth reading about a real enlightened leader in Simon Bolivar, the anti-slavery liberator of South America. Okay, he wasn't that enlightened because he believed in his own dictatorship.)

It would be more than fitting to replace a proud slave-owner in Jackson with one of the great abolitionists in Tubman. Jackson hated northern abolitionists.  Plus, it would be a constant reminder that this country became rich on the backs of slaves.

Of course, Mankiller, a Native American, has the perfect name for replacing a man on the $20 bill.

And, Parks is a towering figure of the Civil Rights movement.

Eleanor Roosevelt, obviously, is considered the most consequential First Lady in history.

My vote is with Tubman. She had the hardest life of the final four and did the most with it.

I would love to see President Obama, our first African-American president, authorize the first woman, a trail-blazing African-American woman, to become the face of the $20 bill.

We need symbolic statements like "Women on 20s" now and then to remind Americans that this country belongs to more that just old, white men.

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