by G. Brown
How long does it take to change a $20? From your hand to my hand–about 2 seconds. From Andrew Jackson to Harriet Tubman, about another EIGHT YEARS!
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the release of the long-awaited Tubman $20 won’t be next year but more like 2028 as the new target date. The Treasury Department claims the hold up is security measures like anti-counterfeiting, but insiders say the entire mock-up is ready with all the security procedures in place. This reported leaked image of the new design is spanning the internet…
The new proposed prelim design, fortunately, got rid of the turban/bandana-look and now depicts a Tubman suited and ready for business. Metal engraving plates to print the actual bills are also finished and ready to use.
So what’s taking so long?
There are reports that Trump actually wanted to cancel the Tubman $20 and that the delay is just a way to avert any major controversy from canceling and still not release the bill through staging a prolonged stall. Trump has made it clear that the current face on the $20 is his favorite President and argued that changing to Tubman is just a move of “pure political correctness”. Trump suggested the $2 bill would be a better fit for Tubman.
Why does the phrase “political correctness” sound more a four-letter word here? It’s actually a jab at the Obama administration which began the measure to put Tubman instead of the 7th President on the $20. And it’s not political correctness as much as it is representing all of America. All of the current portraits on U.S. currency depict only White men. Black men, White women, Native Americans, Latinas, mixed Americans…we all spend that money, we all live here, we all contributed to the making of this country so why not have that racial and cultural diversity displayed on currency?
The foot-dragging on this issue is reminiscent of the resistance to the Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday. Resistance is putting it mildly-it was an epic brawl that took more than 15 years and more than 6 million signatures on a petition to actually become legislation. America wasn’t just built by just one race of people and all people deserve to be represented through holidays, streets and federal buildings bearing their names. The U.S currency that we use every day is a reflection and reminder of that history– a history that is currently only telling one piece of the story.
If we’re going to bicker that Presidents deserve to be on the currency because they are more important than the people they represent then perhaps its time to switch out all the portraits. A social media thread suggested instead of presidents just use historical figures who like Tubman have made major sacrifices and contribution to our country. Sounds like a great idea, but somehow pretty sure that will somehow again end up with giving us a very slanted view of history.
What do you think…is security measures the reason for an extended eight-year delay in putting the Tubman twenty into circulation? Do you think the Tubman will ever actually happen? Should more historical figures replace the portraits of Presidents on all money?