Another reason why Harriet Tubman is a good pick

It is also an example of great achievements in light of a disability:

As a teenager, following a severe head injury—the result of her efforts to protect another slave—Tubman developed a lifelong, chronic condition, with debilitating symptoms that have been described as being similar to those of narcolepsy and temporal lobe epilepsy.

Here is that source.  Here are many other sources.

Now here’s the bad news: There is plenty in the media today about Tubman being female and black, but I haven’t seen a single story even mention this angle.  Will anyone cover it?  I hope so but I fear not.


Now here’s the bad news: There is plenty in the media today about Tubman being female and black, but I haven’t seen a single story even mention this angle. Will anyone cover it? I hope so but I fear not.

I bet not many will cover it to a great a extent. That's because race trumps most other identities in 21st century American discourse. Even gender often loses to it.

Disability scholars have made mention of it, but beyond that, no.

She lived out, with John Brown as her co-conspirator, an interesting Christian theory of the right to direct action and violent insurrection against injustice.

"She was also, according to book Lew cites, an active, paid, co-conspirator with John Brown. She had a prophetic vision of meeting Brown before their first encounter. He recruited her, and she became directly involved in his well-funded conspiracy to establish by military insurrection an independent free state, pursuant to a provisional constitution penned by Brown. She worked to recruit and equip the forces for the attack on the federal armory at Harpers Ferry, which aimed to gain the weapons for the broad slave insurrection need to launch the independent government. While more pacifically minded Christian abolitionists shied away from his history of killings, proposed military methods and goal to overthrow the government, Tubman did not. According to Clinton, "... under Brown's influence, she came to perceive slavery as a state of war.... Tubman endorsed his agenda." Brown called her "General Tubman" and she was only saved from being lost in the attack because an illness kept her from joining the attack, despite the previous logistical help she had offered and her desire to be involved in the armed raid. See, Clinton, Chapter Nine, Crossroads at Harpers Ferry."

Read more, here:

That's a truly heroic fight.

This is now more relevant than ever. As Tay would say: "RACE WAR NOW!!!"

"She worked to recruit and equip the forces for the attack on the federal armory at Harpers Ferry, which aimed to gain the weapons for the broad slave insurrection need to launch the independent government. "

This is why we need gun control. Imagine if these radicals had access to decent guns.

"direct action and violent insurrection": stop being mealy-mouthed, you mean terrorism.

It's not really terrorism as they are not targeting individuals to provoke general terror, they are just robbing an armory and then starting a civil war with the government.

Either way, such "terrorism" pales in comparison to the every-day terrorism that American slavery required to survive and grow.

Yea no. Nat Turner's rebellion spared literally only the children they couldn't find because those children managed to hide in chimneys. That kind of wanton murder simply wasn't a daily feature of North American slavery. Slavery was pernicious and wrong but it paled terroristic violence when compared to your average slave revolt which was basically just a jacquerrie against any whites that turned up.

Well, not like it's not understandable. Still I don't know if I would characterize it as terrorism so much as taking vengeance while you can in the short window before you are caught and killed.

Were American revolutionaries terrorists?

Some were, some weren't. I've never seen Washington accused of terrorism, but there were certainly some terrorists in the southern colonies.

John Brown and his gang certainly were. Mind you, so was Andrew Jackson, as I'm sure Elizabeth Warren would agree.

A true forerunner of Randall Terry... direct action!

How is she in any way comparable to the achievements of Booker T Washington or Frederick Douglass??

What a waste of electrons that article is

Terry is a flawed prophet. I doubt he's ever had to manifest much physical courage though.

Pretty weak sauce for a hit peace. "She only rescued 75 slaves, not 300! She knew many of them!"

I saw that all of the new bills will be out by 2030. How much will cash be used in 15 years?

In 2030 a 20 dollar bill will be worth about 12 dollars.

So they can follow Trump's advice and create a new currency, the $32 bill. I still think the world will be mostly cashless by then.

In the US, maybe not much. But I'm guessing lots of other countries will still use plenty of greenbacks.

I do not go for tinfoil conspiracies. An until recently hardly used cash, but I do like the option of having a medium of payments that is hard to track (An no bitcoin does not cut it), so I pay cash for all transactions less than $200.

No credit card points, eh? Sad!

You don't need to believe that a conspiracy currently exists to deeply understand how such changes could eventually be applied to highly nefarious means.

Imagine if some nefarious operatives within the security apparatus, or perhaps some corporation, had a formal record of every last transaction you ever made, and were using electromagnetic pulses to speak into your head to modify your choices: It is hard to believe that all would be peachy in such a situation.

A Denver Post editorial made much of the fact that Jackson was clueless about finance, while Hamilton understood it well.

Jackson understood finance all too well.

We should change the people on our money much more often, and lose hangups about the weight of the decision.

(If we do end up with a slaver on one side of the bill and a slave on the other, I think it will say something bad about not letting go.)

Why put people on the money at all? Better choices would be things, like the Grand Canyon, the Rockies, the Moon Landing, etc.

I was thinking Neal Armstrong, but sure.

No jazz musicians, please.

lol, I think Louis would be great.

Billie Holiday!

People are more likely to spot printing defects in pictures of faces than of objects. So it's easier to identify forgeries.

Sally Hemings on the reverse side of the $2!

The Canadian mint makes money by producing large varieties of standard issue coins in many years which some people collect. Of course, the coin costs more than it costs to produce. I don't see why the same couldn't be done with bills, although ability to spot counterfeits is a somewhat greater concern.

>Tubman being female and black

And also a gun-toting Republican who has knocked the founder of the Democratic Party off of the $20 bill.

Hilarious. The whole thing seems like a tempest in a teapot to me. Tubman certainly seems deserving. Eleanor Roosevelt, though?

The parties back then had no bearing to today.

Abraham Lincoln founded the Republican party and he was more of a Democrat. He's one of Obama's favorites and is bashed by modern Republicans like Ron Paul. Lincoln is also the father of crushing localized government and states rights which, today, is an overwhelmingly right wing mindset.

A Christian, Republican, 2nd Amendment advocate. Replacing one of founders of the Democrat party. Sounds good to me.


A Cherokee chief comments, "A small but meaningful vindication."

Cuckservative defined


Honoring one heroic black woman isn't going to diminish The White Race.

Take your bigotry somewhere else.

This isn't an arbitrary black woman.

She is being celebrated as an icon of slavery pushing whites as the villains. White people shouldn't like that. Especially, since the US slavery story has gotten so much public discussion.

Given that, it's weird so many right wingers are up in arms about this choice, condemning the move as “A Travesty,” “Dumb” And “A Political Weapon”. Oops.

Yeah, it is stupid. But there seem to be both positive and negative reactions on the right. Republicans who are at least a bit on the libertarianish side of the spectrum seem to like it:

...right wingers should welcome the new, politically-correct faces on U.S. fiat currency.

It will glaringly highlight the Monopoly-Money (worthless) nature of U.S. Federal Reserve funny money.
The unintended consequences of the Tubman-Twenty will be very significant to average people.

As some others on here have pointed out, Tubman herself lived a very politically incorrect life. And the decision to put her on the $20 is in fact a controversial and politically incorrect choice.

More generally the war on political correctness has by now far eclipsed the impact of political correctness itself. It has become an almost meaningless term.

Until the purges stop, I'm not buying it.

Curt Schilling just got canned from ESPN for expressing an opinion about the transgender bathroom issue. Just another example of the times we live in.

It has become an almost meaningless term because it, like racism, is used to describe an ever wider range of things that the user doesn't like. That doesn't mean that the narrower definition (like that of racism) doesn't exist.

@anon, people in public positions have always had to watch what they say, but even more so today. Any person with an internet connection or TV can find out what comes out of a public figure's mouth, practically instantaneously. I don't think ESPN was being "politically correct". I think they were making a business decision. Schilling was canned because what he said genuinely made a lot of people mad. Maybe you don't think those people should be mad, but we can't tell people what to think; society evolves. If ESPN execs believed Schilling's comments would have zero impact on their business, they would not have fired him.

@TV, fair enough, but I do think actual political correctness is much harder to identify in a real world context than racism. The line seems much grayer.

And yet young men continue to be expelled from college as sex offenders even when the supposed victim insists that she consented. I'm not sure what the analogue is on the other side, are there women being expelled for making true accusations of sexual assault? I doubt it since the ones making false accusations don't seem to be.

Jan I don't think your response to anon really counters it being about political correctness. Even if we assume that it was purely a dollars and sense business decision, that what he said "genuinely made a lot of people mad" would seem to be an example of the ascendancy of political correctness, i.e., people get mad when non-politically-correct thing is said, business expects them to change behavior and cost the business money accordingly, business reacts by punishing the non-politically-correct speaker.

@Cliff, nobody should be suspended for a false accusation of sexual assault. Do you know how widespread the problem is on colleges? But on the flip side, do you think women (and men actually) in the armed forces for example, haven't been sexually assaulted and frequently intimidated into not making a complaint, or faced retaliations and reprisals? We all have our "what aboutisms" to throw out there when it is convenient.

@TV, ok, I see what you are saying. America has become pussified, for lack of a better term. Ok, that is probably true. But I would argue that it has been happening for decades, probably hundreds of years. It's just a kind of cultural evolution. Some see it as progress, some see it as purely problematic. And some see it as good in some ways bad in others. The irony is, the public discourse in a lot a ways--at least this is what older folks would say--has become much less civil in general over the past few decades. The stuff people can and do say on TV, on the radio, in internet comments, even to each others faces, is...different. We are a far cry from the day Buckley shocked the country by calling Gore Vidal a fag on TV. So I don't really buy that political correctness is taking over the country.

That's because PC is not about respect, dignity or civility. The most pro-PC people are the most abusive. It's purely about identity/special interest politics

Do you mean it is basically fake outrage? I think that is a problem, actually. But fake outrage affects a much wider swathe of people than the "political correctness" crowd. Politics is rife with it.

Jan April 21, 2016 at 5:29 pm

Schilling was canned because what he said genuinely made a lot of people mad.

I am willing to bet Schilling's comments made roughly zero percent of his audience mad. I thought think that his comments are supported by the majority of people in America. A minority might not care.

What he did was offended a tiny but very vocal minority with powerful friends in the media who could make life miserable for ESPN and its sponsors. They do not want to be picketed. They do not want a consumer boycott even if it is by a tiny percentage. It is a fight they do not need or want. It is that the audience cares at all.

Instapundit keeps calling ESPN out for being MSNBC with baseball. I think their audience has noticed and will turn off. They think this is a smart business decision but it isn't.

SMFS, I disagree that ~zero percent of his audience were mad at his comments. But even if it is the scenario you describe (unlikely, but ok), my point is the same. This was a business decision. If letting him say this stuff is likely to cost them money, either now or down the line, directly or indirectly, it's smarter for them to fire him. And I do think if they get a reputation as a company that allows its talent to say things that really offend even a minority of its paying audience, it will cost them money.

Jan April 21, 2016 at 7:41 pm

If letting him say this stuff is likely to cost them money, either now or down the line, directly or indirectly, it’s smarter for them to fire him.

Sure. But what it will do is cost them money in the long run as their core audience deserts them. ESPN is not Stuff White People Like. It is White, but married, working class. People with children. Who don't particularly want someone with a penis sharing a bathroom with their daughters. Homophobes, I know.

And I do think if they get a reputation as a company that allows its talent to say things that really offend even a minority of its paying audience, it will cost them money.

The news is run by Social Justice Warriors. Like most of the media. Their audiences are deserting them. EPSN is going to find, in the same way, that p!ssing all over your audience is not a good idea. A small minority might care passionately, and the vast majority don't care much but when the majority turns off they are not going to come back.

Maybe some of ESPN's fans agree with Schilling, and maybe a relatively small share were truly offended by what he said. But mostly I think the audience just doesn't give a damn about politics. Nobody follows Schilling on Twitter for his incisive political analysis. And if someone does want to listen to a person yell about some trannies in the Denny's bathroom waiting pounce on his daughters, or whatever the outrage of the day is, there are so many outlets dedicated to that stuff.

SJW comment -- drink! You almost made it ;-)

I appreciate your prediction, but if ESPN really fails, it won't be due to any of this stuff, which only matters on the margins. Sports fans care about watching sports more than whether their network "took a stand" and sided with the wrong tribe. If the network goes away, it will be because the great unbundling will have advanced so far that even the typical retiree in Miami realizes her cable company is taking $6 from her every month so they can show college football games and PTI, which she never watches. That will suck for me, as a beneficiary of grandma's ESPN subsidy, but it's the most likely outcome.

"The most pro-PC people are the most abusive."

You're allowing the extreme 2% to define all the rest. Again. Many people are very pro-PC and also very bothered by abusive efforts to promote the ideals of equal opportunity and people treating each other with respect.

Tough, Jan. People have an opinion when Democratic Party officialdom do tasteless and pointless things. The answer to the problem is for them to stop doing tasteless and pointless things.

Tasteless? Jesus, Stop being such a drama queen.

Meet me half way and quit being an utter fraud.

I've just about stopped replying to anything you say on here, because one can't have an actual debate with you. Every opinion you hold is purely black or white, and seemingly based on blind faith. I've never seen you yield ground based on something someone said to you. You prefer to peddle in polemics and strong adjectives. You seem to be here just to get out your anger and troll.

Master of nuance Jan definitely isn't calling the kettle black.

Finally, a disinterested arbiter.

Ah, the creative juices are flowing:

"There is plenty in the media today about Tubman being female and black, but I haven’t seen a single story even mention this angle."

I learned about her injury and disability from reading news stories yesterday about the $20 bill change.

There was also some mention of her being a slave, in addition to female and black.

As for suffering from head wounds and other privations, this excerpt from the Wikipedia biography of Andrew Jackson:

"During the Revolutionary War, Jackson, at age thirteen, informally helped the local militia as a courier.[9] His eldest brother, Hugh, died from heat exhaustion during the Battle of Stono Ferry, on June 20, 1779. He and his brother Robert were captured by the British and held as prisoners; they nearly starved to death in captivity. When Andrew refused to clean the boots of a British officer, the officer slashed at the youth with a sword, leaving him with scars on his left hand and head, as well as an intense hatred for the British.[10] While imprisoned, the brothers contracted smallpox."

Of course, no one is citing this part of Jackson's biography, either.

How long until there's a demand for Caitlyn Jenner to be on a bill? I suspect not long after we're forced by liberal activists/courts to use unisex bathrooms.

And well after we are all forced to marry someone of the same sex.

Unisex bathrooms, the horror!

Also, on what planet are Caitlyn Jenner and Harriet Tubman equivalent?

Tubman escaped the cruelty of slavery and then risked her life repeatedly to save others from the same fate. She worked with freedom fighters to organize raids to free slaves.

She worked as a spy for the Union Army, going on dangerous missions. The rebels feared her so much that they put a massive bounty on her head.

Harriet Tubman is the very definition of a hero.

Caitlyn Jenner is a rich celebrity who also happens to be transgender.

Tubman was an interesting figure but someone of low historical importance. Any of the civil rights leaders would have been better choices. If she were not African American woman with a good story, she would not have even been considered. In terms of actual impact on people's lives, Frederick Douglas or MLK are vastly more deserving of a place on our currency.

Why not Cesar Chavez or Emma Lazarus, bigot

Because AAs, for comprising only 13 percent of the population, complain the most of any of the ethnic groups and vote most consistently for the Democratic Party. If Latinos want one of their own on the currency, best to learn to play the game.

No. Very few blacks are open to voting Republican. The marginal utility of any sop to blacks is somewhere around zero. This has more to do with the self-concept of yo-yos like Jack Lew (and their implicit historiography) than it does with pandering to blacks.

Wm. F. Buckley, who was in school from about 1930 to 1950 (with interruptions) supposedly once sent a memo asking, "who is this Harriet Tubman; why have I never heard of her?". I have a suspicion you're not going to locate her in too many textbooks or lesson plans composed prior to 1965. (She was hardly mentioned in my American history classes a dozen years later).

She'll get more play from now on that's for sure. She was pretty badass, it's deserved.

Because she was a minor figure.

She is still a minor figure, just a safe pander pick. Other possible choices are too controversial.

She is not mentioned in James McPherson's "Battle Cry of Freedom" (1988), the definitive historical account of the period.

just a safe pander pick.

I don't think its a pander. It's a certain type of annoying bourgeois laying down their markers. You won't get four votes from blacks you wouldn't have gotten anyway.

Harriet Tubman was in my reader at St. Francis de Sales School around 1968. I was looking forward to learning how she dug a 1000 mile tunnel and built a locomotive, but the story was short on the technical details.

I've stayed in lots of hotels where there are shared bathrooms which are unisex. As a result, I routinely fantasize about becoming a homosexual and perhaps even bestality. That's what unisex bathrooms can do to a person.

I think Jenner would win by a landslide if the people were allowed to vote which woman should be on the bill. Think of "Boaty McBoatface". The cynisism of the electorate is deep and strong.

You already wear a unisex leotard to the grocery store, so what's the big deal?


Yeah, bigots and racists just love to call other people bigots and racists. Hypocrite much?

That was my point exactly

She frequently had visions from God to tell her to free slaves.

So perhaps the head injury was an asset as well as a liability.

Insane Clown Posse.

LOL....I like this game:

Ted Kaczynski
Bernie Madoff
Johnny Manziel
Paris Hilton
Spiro Agnew
Dan Quayle
Haley Joel Osment
Miley Cyrus

I could go on

"There is plenty in the media today about Tubman being female and black, but I haven’t seen a single story even mention this angle"

But that is the only reason she was chosen. Why would the media cover items not relevant to the decision to put her on the 20?

I cannot wait for the rap songs to come out about "throwin' Tubbies" at Black strippers as they shake their gigantic hind sides.

Exhibit #637 in the file marked "Faculty Libertarians manifest no critical distance from faculty kultursmog".

She's only a 'good pick' if you begin with the assumption that the selection has to be from a mascot group of the Anointed. Her achievements, such as they were, were indubitably replicated by quite a quiverfull of American combat veterans in all our wars. She's like Amelia Earhart: interesting because a woman is doing something (that scores of men were doing at the same time).

Look at the current occupants of the currency and coin. Every one was a figure of historical significance, not an illustrative or engaging sidebar. Five of these eight men were combat veterans and two others were civilians who had commanded troops in wartime. One may have been the most salient figure there was in late colonial politics, more responsible than any other in organizing the separatist movement (and also having personal accomplishments in an array of fields). Two others were crucial in the construction of national institutions. Another was a seminal figure in articulating abiding interests and themes in American political life. Another did a bit of both. The only appropriate candidate for the currency is someone who ran something or built something large and important.

One of them liked to tell fart jokes.

Totally off topic (although I'd like to see him on currency): RIP Prince.

I personally supported Rihanna for the $ know, immigrant, self-made, among other worthy reasons.

Maybe they could use Rihanna as the model for the Tubman portrait? We wouldn't want the Treasury botching it and making Harriet look like Aunt Jemimah (a strong possibility). Best to play it safe and portray her in her younger days. Since I don't think there are portraits of Ms. Tubman from her glory days, why not make her look like a hot pop star?

I thought you were joking. RIP. Wonderful singer and entertainer.

You know there has been a real regime change when they start changing the faces on the currency and coins.

The currency and changed a great deal between 1863 and about 1928. The notable changes since then have been on the margins - the withdrawal of relict issues like gold and silver certificates, the multiple misbegotten attempts to introduce a dollar coin, the Kennedy 50-cent piece, and the Roosevelt dime. You hardly ever see a Kennedy half-dollar anymore and both were introduced nearly 50 years ago. Leftscum cannot keep their hands off anything nor refrain from turning something into a messaging exercise. Scroom.

My mistake. Roosevelt landed on the dime just after the 2d World War. Imprudent, but not a bad decision in retrospect.

It started when they erased Eisenhower from the dollar coin, didn't it?

Then they erased Susan B. Anthony -

Not to mention all those quarters, no longer backed by a proud American eagle.

The Eisenhower dollar was a failure with the public, as has been every other dollar coin in the last 80-odd years. They only minted them for a few years. The SBA dollar was a failure for obvious reasons: too bloody easy to confuse it with a quarter.

Eisenhower didn't replace anyone on the dollar coin. Neither did Susan B (the Ike coin was already out of circulation). The coins disappeared simply because they were not handy to use; not necessarily because people didn't like what those faces stood for. I'm sure, though, that those two choices represented the political and cultural mood of the day. Replacing a widely circulated bill with another face has a much larger importance. It is an indication of a real regime change.

Whoever is in power chooses those symbols. It is of political and cultural importance and a strong indicator of who is in charge and what they believe is important.

Whoever is in power chooses those symbols.

No, the symbols have to resonate with popular culture, or it's just more chickenshit from people with the mentality of high-school vice-principals.

Another thing. I recall, quite fondly, the beautiful images The Netherlands put on its currency. Light houses. Birds. Sunflowers. Erasmus. The whole thing was pretty much devoid of any political messaging. To a somewhat lesser extent there is also a lack of political messaging in the current batch of euros. Perhaps the US should try to emulate the old Dutch currency and leave politics out of it.

Once upon a time, we did not have a problem honoring our ancestors their accomplishments in collective endeavour. A purpose of this otherwise gratuitous act is to reshuffle the deck and self-assign to cretins like Jack Lew or the Dean of Students the franchise to allocate such honors. The way to stop retreating is to just stop.

First they came for the Eisenhower dollar, and I didn't vote for Eisenhower so I didn't object. Then they came for Susan B. Anthony, and because I couldn't afford to pay a dollar when a quarter would do, I didn't object. Then they came for the Thomas Jefferson $2 bill and ... need I say more?

Finally they came for Alexander Hamilton. Lin Manuel Miranda and the Broadway lobby had a *big* dog in this fight. So they shooed them off to Old Hickory, and since no one studies Daniel Webster and John Quincy and the War 1812, booting Andy Jackson off the $20 seemed like no big deal.

Apologies to Martin Niemoller.

So when are electromagnetic weapons geared to "remote neural monitoring" going to be coming on the $100 bill?

The History of the World would not have been the same without her. Even more so now that she had brain damage. Well deserved.

"The History of the World would not have been the same without her."

Thousands of escaped slaves, hundreds of Underground Railroad guides, thousands of nurses.

A curiosity, nothing more.

"Even more so now that she had brain damage."

Methinks I detect a joke

Let's be honest . She is a marginal figure among giants chosen precisely because she is female and black

And let's be honest: all the biggest giants happen to be white men. Just how it is.

"just how is it"

Well, white men have accomplished more than any other demographic group. However, there are many minority and women figures worthy of their place on the $20, including civil rights leaders. I'm sorry, Harriet Tubman, while she was a heroic person, does not fit the bill.

Do you really think it would be possible to put anyone new on a $20 that over half the country wouldn't consider the "wrong choice"? It's futile to try to satisfy everyone. The bar should sort of be are they a qualified choice, not the best choice. I think she is obviously qualified. People are just pissed off because they view it as an unfair loss for white men. Whatever.

Do you really think it would be possible to put anyone new on a $20 that over half the country wouldn’t consider the “wrong choice”? It’s futile to try to satisfy everyone.

No one was dissatisfied but a coterie of Democratic Party hacks and SJWs.

Art said SJW -- big surprise! Does that mean you disagree with me? Guess I'll never know. Oh well.

Well they did specifically take a white male off the currency and made sure to replace him with someone who is a non-white male. Seems to be a pretty clear instance of not just trying to lift one group up, but specifically smack another one down.

Many avenues by which that could be avoided. Could have each bill demonination cycle through different types of historical figures. One bill for presidents, one for other statesmen, one for brave rebels against tyranny, one for great achievers in science, whatever.

The anon above takes the paper money portrait too seriously. We are getting much more creative with coins, and the sky did not fall.

And let’s be honest: all the biggest giants happen to be white men. Just how it is.

Well yes, Jan, that is how it is. We can talk about why that is the way it is. But that is the way it is.

It is actually quite hard to find a non-White non-male who has made a significant positive contribution to the world in the last few centuries.

It's hard to make significant positive contributions when you are ruled by an empire, or in the short generations after the end of the formal imperial age.

It’s hard to make significant positive contributions when you are ruled by an empire

Rubbish. As we speak, about 60% of the adult population of Tropical and Southern Africa has acquired baseline literacy. They did not get from a pre-literate state to where they are now under their own steam. Those empires established public works, regular supralocal trade relations, and the architecture to impart literacy. Without them, the accomplishments of those societies would likely be in the realm of managing in inhospitable environments.

Most humans, through a combination of nature and nurture, are incapable of making significant positive contributions to society.

Those public works were there to facilitate extraction and impart just enough European education so that some handful of local elites could rule on their behalf. Broad based literacy efforts did not start until after independence.

Admittedly, in the era after European empires, they definitely had some assistance in establishing education systems and the relations that you speak of. But a couple generations is very short time in a historical context. I was talking about colonial times, not post-colonial times.

Rachel Jeantel.

Daniel Holtzclaw.

Rachel Dolezal. Don't need another stale, pale male.

Haha. I actually thought you meant Dolezal when I first read that.

I'm surprised most African currency doesn't feature white males. They should at least be choosing from accomplished humans, not beasts and black people.

Deciding whose face to put on the currency is inherently all about image. The money would work as well if it had the faces of people nobody but a serious historian could even identify, or if it had pictures of landmarks or great events in our history. It's very much like choosing which days should be federal holidays--outside of some basic consideration for when people will want to take off (Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Independence Day), it's all about image and messaging and what stories we want to tell ourselves about what is important.

Are her race and gender happenstance, or were they the primary criterion by which a list of acceptable figures were created? How can the latter be anything but racism and sexism?

It's the GOOD kind of racism and sexism

Every nation has a list of things they want to say with their currency. Some are quite creative.

The push back is about "no you can't say that."

So who is PC in this instance? The people who don't want us to say anything on money about slavery.

When you are the censor, you are the PC.

Japanese notes changed in 2004. They were creative:

on the 1000 yen note, author Soeski was replaced by biologist Noguchi
on the 5000 yen note, ag. economist Nitobe was replaced by author Higuchi (she died of T.B. at age 24)
on the 10,000 yen note, influential Meiji thinker was replaced by.... well, you don't touch Fukuzawa.

How is it racism if a black person is praised? Is it racism if a white person is praised?

Are you aware of the double standards you hold?

The story of US slavery is generally one where the white ethnic group are the villains and the black ethnic group are the victims. Those group roles are generally true for that story, but choosing to emphasize that particular story and choosing Tubman as just an icon of that story to hammer in those ethnic roles is divisive and drives resentment.

Celebrating a person for some non-racial achievement who happened to be black would be a more unifying move.

That is one of the weirdest things I've ever read. Harriet Tubman, born a slave, fought not just for her own freedom but that of her fellows.

"choosing Tubman as just an icon of that story to hammer in those ethnic roles"

.. and some people don't like me noticing what is written.

Pro Tip: Tubman did not fight ethnic groups, she fought slave holders and their agents


If I said, "Okay I need a list of people to potentially honor. Make sure they are white and male," yes, that would be both racist and sexist. Just like if I said "make sure they are black and female."

I have nothing against Tubman. She seems like a cool rebel against tyranny. I like those. If she had come out as the top choice of a committe that decided we needed more cool rebels against tyranny on our currency (aside from those who were also President), that'd be fine. Doesn't seem to be what happened, and I believe in the importance of process, not just end results.

He was criticizing the process, not the result

Why didn't we just replace one of the presidents on coins that already have representation on paper money. The Harriet Tubman penny or quarter doesn't evoke anything like this kind of controversy. It's too bad that the only icon of the frontier early Applachian west on our money is getting dumped.

"Historians have some ideas as to why putting Jackson on the $20 seemed like a good idea in 1928, when his face was selected to replace Grover Cleveland's. But as it turns out, nobody seems to know for sure why a Treasury Department committee assigned Old Hickory's portrait to the bill."

He had a good long run, after some committee hi-jinks.

Also, I'd advise you not to use "a woman's place is on a coin" in mixed company.

I'd advise you to step out from behind the binoculars and meet some flesh and blood women, but I'm afraid of what you do when they turn you down.

Does that still work on the internet?

Seriously, I don't call sexism often. I can't remember the last time I did, but yeah, the fact that it is a great leap to put a woman, any woman, on paper money says something about our society.

And yes, some women might call you on it.

I have seen many of what I presume are your posts, and you have a nasty habit of misrepresenting what people say, in obvious bad faith.

You're obnoxious.

Well historically women were oppressed and therefore did not have much of an opportunity to do amazing things, which makes it a bit difficult to find historical women to celebrate (although I'll admit I'm not the biggest American history buff). Harriet Tubman on the $20 is fine with me, but she does seem a bit out of place among the others and not because she's a different demographic.

" the fact that it is a great leap to put a woman, any woman, on paper money says something about our society"

Absolutely. And the suggestion that a woman might belong on a penny is definitely sexist. Maybe for the second women, but definitely not the first. I think the $20 denomination is about appropriate.

Well historically women were oppressed

Scarcely any more 'oppressed' than anyone else who had to make a living from agricultural labor with pre-industrial technology.

I don't fancy myself an expert but I understand there was significant discrimination against women in education and employment, with a widespread feeling that women should be encouraged to lead a family life at home?

Once again, we see that the particular brand of libertarianism found in a MR comment thread is rather more enthusiastic about liberty for people like them than for people who are not. See also open borders.

Tubman is presented as just an icon of the US slavery story where the white group is the villain and the black ethnic group is the victim. That is overtly divisive and drives resentment no matter how you slice it. Tubman also presents the Union as the noble victors over the villainous Confederacy which is also divisive and unnecessary.

There's no remotely ethical or common sense conclusion about the Civil War except that the right side won. Does that mean the Union was perfect and the Yankees were saints? Of course not. But the alternative would have been ghastly in multiple ways.

Tyler Cowen is in his own world if he thinks either side of the culture war cares about the physically disabled.

Tubman is a bad pick, because she hypes racial division and resentment. The US slavery story has gotten more than its airtime.

The US is supposedly built on institutions, not personalities, but of course that's not true, the world is all about personalities. Government decreed money being an affront to freedom, it really doesn't matter whose image is on a bill but there should be no human image at all. Far better to have a representation of a true hero with no skeletons in the closet. I nominate Triple Crown thoroughbred Secretariat.

Well, that's a horse of a different colour.

This seems like a very smart way to incentivise America to move to a cashless society and reduce black markets.

No one will want to use bills which remind us of what a sad decadent brainwashed society we now live in.

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