American’s New President, Joe Biden, Plans to ‘Step Up’ Plans to Honour Harriet Tubman on $20 Bill
A Brief Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper
Posted January 25th, 2021 on Niagara At Large
If you are looking for a bit more good news during these times, here is some.
At least I think so.
At a White House news briefing today, it was mentioned that now U.S. President Joe Biden will be ‘stepping up’ plans to celebrate Harriet Tubman – a 19th century American abolitionist who spent some of her years living in St. Catharines/Niagara – on his country’s $20 bill.
The decision to place the image of Harriet Tubman – the first woman that would ever be highlighted on U.S. paper money – on the $20 bill was made more than four years ago by the outgoing American administration of Barack Obama. Then came the rancid administration of Trump, and all of a sudden there was some reason to fulfill that plan by 2019. Oh, geez, there might be some security problems for the money, some of Trump’s toadies said at the time.
A report by the U.S. cable news broadcaster CNN a few years ago asked a question behind the Trump administration’s decision to wanting to put off any portrayal of Tubman on an American bill until at least 2028 this way –
“President Donald Trump wants NASA to go to Mars, but his Treasury secretary can’t figure out how to put Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill?” the CNN report (which you can find in full below) said.
I think most fair-minded and intelligent people know the answer to the CNN question. Trump’s political base always has been, and still is, loaded with white supremacists.
And just as he would never condemn the murder of Afro-American George Floyd by a white cop, there was no bloody way he was going to have a black woman appear on paper money during his term of office.
It is hardly worth repeating the point. It is a no-brainer. On the other hand, how great it is to now have a U.S. president across the border from us that has such a significantly different attitude. Harriet Tubman, once a slave herself, escaped slavery and became a hero leading others to freedom through the legendary Underground Railroad.
For a number of years, during the 1850s and up to the American Civil War, she lived in St. Catharines in Niagara, Ontario and her place of worship was the Salem Chapel BME (British Methodist Episcopal) Church, still standing as a valued heritage site on Geneva Street in that municipality.
Harriet Tubman, who has a public school named after her in St. Catharines, is a true hero and was the subject of a major Hollywood movie just a few years ago.
We should all feel proud that this great woman spent a few years of her life breathing the air here.
I, for one, and looking forward to getting just one of the first prints of that U.S. $20 bill.
Doug Draper, Niagara At Large
To read and watch the CNN report referred to above, click on – https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/14/opinions/harriet-tubman-trump-race-brown/index.html
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