fresh voices from the front lines of change







For eight years, wingnuts had to deal with the reality of a black man in the White House. Now, it looks like there will be a black woman in their wallets. They’re not taking it well.

On Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced that former slave Harriet Tubman, who led countless slaves to freedom via the Underground Railroad would be the face of the newly redesigned $20 bill. It was the end of a year-long debate that began when Lew announced that a woman would grace the front of the newly redesigned $10 bill. The announcement set off a national discussion about whether such a change should be made, and just which woman from American history should be the new face on the $10 bill. (When the question came up at a Republican debate, the candidates performed miserably. One suggested British prime minister Margaret Thatcher. Another nominated his mom.)

An outcry from fans of Alexander Hamilton, and the Broadway hit bearing his name, probably influenced the change. (The new $10 bill will feature an image of the 1913 march for women’s suffrage that ended at the Treasury Department, and honor leaders like Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Sojourner Truth. The Treasury Dept. hopes to roll out the changes by 2020, the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage. Other changes to currency will include depictions of Martin Luther King Jr., Eleanor Roosevelt, and black opera singer Marian Anderson, who famously sang on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1939, after the Daughters of the American Revolution refused to allow her to sing in their hall, because of her race.)

But the decision to bump Andrew Jackson to the back to the $20 bill, and put Tubman on the front raised an even bigger outcry on the right. After all, who else would object to honoring an American who led more than 3000 slaves to freedom, instead of a slave-owning genocidal ex-general, who best work was the “Trail of Tears?”


Twitter was ablaze.

Never mind that there are plenty of reasons conservatives should be thrilled with Tubman on the face of the $20. She was a Republican, a Christian, and routinely carried a gun in order to “stand her ground” why conducting along the Underground Railroad.

There are, perhaps, less odious reasons to question Tubman’s place on the new $20 bill. After all, she spent much her life, and risked her life, to free hundreds from a system that treated them like currency and commodities. While the change to the $20 bill honors Tubman’s life and contribution to history, it won’t do much to improve access to cash for African-Americans. Nor will it change that women still earn less than men.

Conservatives didn’t come up with any of these reasons to honor Tubman with a place on the $20. Oh well. Maybe they only want to honor white men.

Musical genius Prince died on Thursday, and while virtually the entire world mourned His Royal Badness, wingnuts made asses of themselves as usual.


Here’s the rest of the best of the worst in wingnuttia this week:


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