By Jacob Laskaris
For years, millions of people from across the nation have debated about whether or not a woman should finally be on our money, most specifically the ten dollar bill. This issue was partially settled when current Secretary of Treasury, Jack Lew said in an interview that Alexander Hamilton will stay on the ten. He told the interviewer that President Andrew Jackson, our nation’s seventh president, will be taken off of the twenty dollar bill and replaced with a woman, most likely Harriet Tubman who was an early abolitionist and lead the Underground Railroad.
The call for putting a woman on paper money has been getting louder and louder over the years. Activists have been waiting for the day when a Treasurer Secretary announced that a historical female figure will replace a President who many consider one of the most racist presidents of U.S. history. Jackson called for Indian removal and started what many now call, The Trail of Tears. Regardless, Harriet Tubman is the presumptive choice for the twenty dollar bill because she was a champion for freedom of the slaves, she was an early advocate for woman suffrage as well.
When asked if a woman should be on the twenty dollar bill, North Eugene student and fellow senior Justin Waggoner said this:
“No. However, I wouldn’t have problem with it should it come to pass.”
People like Justin who don’t want the twenty to change will most be fine with it when this happens. They aren’t going to revolt in protest of it, but some will like it, some will grow to like it and some will hate it, but will ultimately accept it.
Another theory that is going around is that there will be two different twenties in circulation. One would have President Jackson on it while the one with Harriet Tubman on it will be used at the same time. This scenario is unlikely, but when I asked Justin about his opinion on the matter at hand, he said that “There should be two different bills. Jackson was important to the United States. It’s important to honor him. The woman on the other bill should be someone who was known for contributing to the U.S.” Mr. Waggoner’s quote is the exactly the reason why Tubman is the presumptive choice for the twenty dollar bill. She was an abolitionist, she helped free slaves through the Underground Railroad and fought for women’s right to vote. She is the perfect person to be the new face of the twenty dollar bill, which is why her replacing Jackson seems viable.
Jack Lew, the United States Secretary of Treasury in a recent 2016 interview confirmed that Harriet Tubman would indeed be the woman on the twenty. Up until then, many people of different political parties and beliefs argued over who should be the woman to replace Andrew Jackson. Some said Eleanor Roosevelt, a classy first lady with a respect for civil rights. Some argued in favor of Betty Friedan, the founder of the modern feminist movement. A small portion of people wanted the controversial founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger. Justin did not give me a specific answer on who he’d pick if he was in charge, but a young woman who overheard my interview with Mr. Waggoner shouted out, “ROSA PARKS!”
Mrs. Parks was the woman credited for sparking the Civil Rights movement back in 1955 when she declined to move to the back of the bus with the other African Americans.She was arrested, but her refusing to sit in the back of the bus lead to a cultural revolution which stopped segregation and united the people of America. She was one of the leading choices for which woman should be on the $20 bill, but ultimately lost out to Harriet Tubman.
The goal is to put Tubman on the twenty by the year 2020, which will be 100 years since the 19th Amendment was ratified, which allowed women to vote in elections. Tubman advocated for women’s suffrage and fought for rights such as voting. Personally, I’m indifferent to this subject. If Tubman is on the twenty dollar bill, that’s awesome. If Jackson is still on the bill by 2020, then that is alright with me. Whichever way the wind blows, I’m willing to accept that and move on towards the future.