- Treasury Department is getting rid of Andrew Jackson’s face on the $20 bill and substituting anti-slavery pioneer Harriet Tubman
- Tubman was born a slave, escaped and then risked her life by returning to the South to lead others to freedom on the Underground Railroad
- Donald Trump said Thursday that it was ‘pure political correctness’ and suggested the $2 bill for Tubman instead
- Jackson, a slave owner and the father of the Democratic Party, had a complicated history that also included retiring the entire national debt
‘…I admire Donald Trump’s forthright approach to business, politics and free speech. However, the freewheeling approach has served it’s purpose and it’s time to modulate. As the undisputed front runner, aspiring to be the leader of the free world calls for a more introspective approach to politically volatile situations and topics, if truely the goal is to quell unease amog the rank and file about his ‘GENERAL’ electability.
To succeed in his presidential bid, and not tank the GOP downstream, Trump has to bite down and navigate avoidable pitfalls. This is a very important aspect of the courtship ritual’
‘I think Harriet Tubman is fantastic,’ he said during a town hall event broadcast live on NBC’s ‘Today’ show, but ‘I would love to leave Andrew Jackson and see if we can maybe come up with another denomination.’
‘Maybe we do the $2 bill or we do another bill.’
‘I don’t like seeing it,’ the billionaire Republican front-runner said. ‘Yes, I think it’s pure political correctness.’
COMING SOON: This artist’s rendering shows what abolitionist Harriet Tubman might look like on the U.S. twenty dollar bill. She will replace President Andrew Jackson on the $20 banknote, the first time an African-American has been featured on US money
Trump openly defended Andrew Jackson, the former U.S. president and father of the Democratic Party currently depicted on the often-used $20 paper money, despite his history as a slave-owner.
Jackson is also reviled by descendants of American Indians as the architect of an Indian removal policy in 1838 and 1839 that required the migration of native tribes in a forced march that killed than 10,000 – an event known as the Trail of Tears.
The seventh U.S. president also, however, was the only American leader to be held as a prisoner of war, the only one to retire the entire national debt, and the first to be targeted for assassination.
And, like Trump, he was seen as a populist counterweight to politically powerful special interests including industrial and manufacturing giants, dismantling the nation’s central bank because he believed it didn’t loan enough money for small projects on the western American frontier.
‘Andrew Jackson had a great history,’ Trump argued on Thursday, ‘and I think it’s very rough when you take somebody off the bill. Andrew Jackson had a record of tremendous success for the country … and really represented somebody that really was very important to this country.’
‘I would love to see another denomination, and that could take place. I think [it] would be more appropriate.’
SLAVE OWNER V. SLAVE: Harriet Tubman (right) escaped slavery but then returned to the South to lead other slaves to freedom – and President Andrew Jackson (left) owned human chattel like her
Dr. Ben Carson, a Trump endorser who mounted his own campaign for the White House before pulling out of the race in March, made a similar suggestion Wednesday after the Treasury Department announced its intentions.
Carson also mentioned the $2 bill as a possible vehicle for honoring Tubman, drawing eye-rolls from Fox News Channel host Megyn Kelly.
‘The two? The two is like the – nobody [uses] – the two? What?’ she asked.
Carson responded that ‘we have lots of options here. We can have a $200 bill.’
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced Wednesday that Tubman will replace Jackson on new $20 bills printed as soon as the year 2020, following the typical review period and the implementation of new anti-counterfeiting measures.
Whichever face graces the banknote, Trump said Thursday that people with millions in the bank should prepare to part with more $20s – and $50s and $100s – if he’s president.
Asked if he believes in raising taxes on the wealthy, Trump responded: ‘I do. I do. Including myself.’
Born into slavery in the early part of the 19th century, Tubman escaped from Maryland to Pennsylvania and then used the network of activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad to transport other slaves to freedom. After the Civil War, Tubman became active in the campaign for women’s suffrage. She died in 1913.
Last year, the treasury announced plans to replace Alexander Hamilton, the nation’s first secretary of the treasury, with a woman on the $10 bill.
But both Hamilton supporters and women’s groups argued that the $20 bill should be reworked to incorporate a woman instead.
Hamilton has seen a revival in popularity during the past year with the success of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Pulitzer-prize winning Broadway musical named after the founding father.
Jackson, meanwhile, is a more complicated figure.
When it was announced last year that the treasury would be printing a woman on U.S. currency for the first time in more than a century, a group called Women on 20s organized a survey to select an appropriate figure.
Over the course of 10 weeks, the group collected 600,000 votes and Tubman came out on top. Civil rights hero Rosa Parks, former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt and Wilma Mankiller – the first female chief of the Cherokee Nation – were among some of the other popular figures in the vote.
The $5 bill will also undergo change. The illustration of the Lincoln Memorial on the back of the will be redesigned to honor ‘events at the Lincoln Memorial that helped to shape our history and our democracy.’
The new image will include civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., Eleanor Roosevelt and Marian Anderson.
The $10 bill is the next note on Treasury’s redesign calendar. That reboot was scheduled to be unveiled in 2020, which marks the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote.
Lew had often cited that connection as a reason to put a woman on the $10 bill. The last woman featured on U.S. paper money was Martha Washington, who was on a $1 silver certificate from 1891 to 1896. The only other woman ever featured on U.S. paper money was Pocahontas, from 1865 to 1869. Susan B. Anthony and Sacagawea are on dollar coins.