Tubman on the Twenty

Anti-slavery crusader Harriet Tubman is seen in a picture from the Library of Congress

Anti-slavery crusader Harriet Tubman is seen in a picture from the Library of Congress taken photographer H.B. Lindsley between 1860 and 1870. The U.S. Treasury has decided to replace former President Andrew Jackson with Tubman on the U.S. $20 bill, and will put leaders of the women’s suffrage movement on the back of $10 bill, Politico reported on Wednesday. REUTERS/Library of Congress/Handout via Reuters FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS – RTX2AVQ3

“The Obama administration has inadvertently given Harriet Tubman fans of all political stripes an opportunity to tell the story of a deeply religious, gun-toting Republican who fought for freedom in defiance of the laws of a government that refused to recognize her rights.” Citizen magazine, August 2016, p. 11

Tubman on the Twenty

Citizen magazine, August 2016, p. 11

Last year (in our May 2015 issue, to be precise), we told you about the movement by feminists to kick Andrew Jackson off the $20 bill and replace him with a woman.

This year, that’s just what happened. But not the way some of the people in that movement wanted.

When they started, the Women on $20s movement pushed its own candidates for the currency. Among the most prominent: Planned Parenthood founder Marga­ret Sanger, a notorious eugenicist who sought to ster­ilize people she called “the unfit” and “human weeds” (primarily darker-skinned individuals whose ancestors were slaves).

But when Treasury Department officials said they’d put a woman on the $20 bill in April of this year, they picked Harriet Tubman. And there’s merit in that pick.

Tubman was a genuine American heroine, an ex-slave who repeatedly put herself at risk to rescue other slaves via the Underground Railroad. And her motives were rooted in her Christian faith—a faith that shone throughout her life, right down to her last words, “I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2).

Which has some conservatives cheering her selec­tion. “If it was political correctness that drove this de­cision, who cares?” writes Jim Geraghty in National Review. “The Obama administration has inadvertently given Tubman fans of all political stripes an opportunity to tell the story of a deeply religious, gun-toting Repub­lican who fought for freedom in defiance of the laws of a government that refused to recognize her rights.”

Funny how things work out sometimes, isn’t it?

 

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