Readers had a lot to say about my claim that Donald Trump’s objection to Harriet Tubman on the $20.00 bill proved he was racist and sexist. Here, I offer my response.
Last week, I wrote a pretty heated response to Donald Trump’s predictably controversial disagreement on the news of Harriet Tubman replacing Andrew Jackson on the $20.00 bill. I made the claim that this proves Trump is both racist and sexist.
I stand by that claim.
But I realized, given the comments that followed, perhaps I had not thoroughly made my case.
And maybe the best way to do so is to take each comment and respond individually. (The original article and all comments can be found in their entirety here).
“I think these irrational and emotional attacks are going to lose you more of the independent vote in the general election. You’re going to help Trump right into the White House.” – Pursuit Ace
It’s funny, because “irrational” and “emotional” are words I would usually use to describe Donald Trump. But at any rate, I fail to see how arguing that someone who advocates keeping Andrew Jackson on the $20.00 bill – regardless of who is the proposed replacement – shows that person is a racist, is somehow an “irrational” or “emotional” argument.
Andrew Jackson owned hundreds of slaves. He was also the inglorious signer of the Indian Removal Act, which resulted in tens of thousands of Native Americans being forced out of their homelands. Over 10,000 died on the way, which is why we know it as the Trail of Tears.
I’m not a Jackson scholar, but from what I can tell, his two major positive achievements include founding the Democratic Party and winning a major battle during the War of 1812… after a truce had been signed.
I don’t think the Republican frontrunner (Trump) would be much interested in defending the founder of the Democratic Party.
And here’s what I have to say about military service and Donald Trump. While my uncles were flying helicopter missions in Vietnam, Trump was sleeping around with married women in Manhattan on several deferments. One on a physical injury that someone should really ask him about. I think the common term we use for men like him is “draft dodger.”
Seems unlikely for such a man to be concerned about preserving the honor of our country’s service men and women. Right?
So the only available reason Trump wants to keep Jackson on the $20.00 must be that he has some admiration and respect for the man.
Which, given his comment that Mexicans are (often) rapists, seems pretty indicative of a man who – if not a racist – has absolutely no problem with people (Jackson, some Trump supporters) who are.
“You’re really out of line here Jessica what trump said was it was pure political correctness that gets Tubman on the 20 and he’s right He is a conservative. Conservatives don’t like quick change. No pun here. He thought perhaps a new legal tender with her on it would be fine. But you’re twisting it to day he’s misogynistic and a racist to boot. You’re learning your liberal lessons well.” – Mark
To begin with, I am not a liberal. My first political article for The Good Men Project outlined my stance as an Independent, and argued that we need more of those in this country.
Second of all, I agree that quick change can be problematic. I’m not for that either. But the face on our currency changes periodically, and has for the entirety of our country’s history. Taking Jackson off the $20.00 is not exactly a “quick” change. Someone had to go.
Sadly, the Treasury originally had in mind taking Alexander Hamilton – an abolitionist – off the $10.00 bill. You can thank Lin Manuel-Miranda and his musical Hamilton for keeping Alexander on, and getting Andrew Jackson off.
“When we clear the smoke, is it the right thing to do? Can we blow through the personal angst and ask why it has not been done before this, as the very fabric of our history as a nation has been intertwined with the lives of women?” – DJ
I fully agree, with one tiny caveat.
Part of why Tubman is replacing Andrew Jackson has much to do with “personal angst” and how that heartfelt passion is often the fuel for needed change.
Women’s lives have indeed been every bit as much a part of our nation’s history as men’s, obviously. The question of why this hasn’t been done before doesn’t give us any happy answers.
But in the mind of Donald Trump, this kind of change should never come. Things should just stay the same, even if they are awful and unfair.
That’s not conservative. And I doubt Trump would feel that way if only female heroes graced our currency.
If that were the case, I’d imagine Trump would regularly be screaming for the instatement of all the male heroes of America’s past to be put on our hard bills. Stat.
I want to thank everyone for reading, and commenting. It is always humbling to see that my words do have an impact, and I am grateful for your interaction with my article, even if (maybe especially when) we disagree.
Photo: Flickr/Gage Skidmore