Does the new choice of the U.S. Treasury represent a symbol of race equality, or are we missing a fundamental understanding of race and racism?
Yesterday’s official announcement that iconic anti-slavery campaigner Harriet Tubman will replace former president Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill resulted in thousands of celebratory social media posts, many based on the honoring of Tubman’s struggle as an African American slave. Tubman will be both the first female figure to be featured on our country’s currency as well as the first black one.
The Treasury’s reasoning in choosing Tubman was to honor her life “fighting for liberty.” However, this opinion page from The Guardian believes that in choosing Tubman, there has also been a disregard for what she actually stood for. The author makes a case that the decision fails to truly embody the spirit of the abolitionist, and that instead of honoring her memory through a symbol of capitalism, people should instead be embodying her spirit of humility and equality everyday.