"Travesty": Here Are The Conservative Media Figures Freaking Out Over Harriet Tubman Being On The $20 Bill

››› ››› DAYANITA RAMESH & BOBBY LEWIS

Several conservative media figures criticized the U.S. Treasury Department’s announcement that Harriet Tubman would replace Andrew Jackson on the front of the $20 bill, calling the change “dumb" and a “travesty.”

The Treasury Department Announced Harriet Tubman Will Be Featured On The Front Of The $20 Bill, And Andrew Jackson Will Move To The Back

NY Times: Harriet Tubman Is Coming to the $20 Bill. The New York Times reported on April 20 that in “the most sweeping and historically symbolic makeover of American currency in a century,” Harriet Tubman will replace Andrew Jackson on the front of the $20 bill. The Times also noted that Jackson will remain on the back of the $20, and “images of women would be added to the back” of both the $10 and the $5. [The New York Times, 4/20/16]

Several Right-Wing Media Figures Condemn The Move As “A Travesty,” “Dumb” And “A Political Weapon”

Fox’s Brian Kilmeade: “How Could You Be Remaking American History At This Rate? It’s Incredible.” On the April 21 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade claimed that taking Andrew Jackson off the $20 bill is “the taking apart of our history” and questioned “how could you be remaking American history at this rate?”:

BRIAN KILMEADE (CO-HOST): Meanwhile, there’s another big story, Jack Lew, the Treasury secretary. has decided not to replace Alexander Hamilton on the $10.

STEVE DOOCY (CO-HOST): Thank goodness.

KILMEADE: Instead, he’s going to take off Alexander, excuse me, Andrew Jackson on the $20, and replace him with a great American that saved hundreds from a life of slavery, Harriet Tubman. And that, she’s an unbelievable person, obviously, historic, vital to America's past, but just the taking apart of our history, taking off our seventh president is something that I can't believe that we would go ahead and do.

[...]

DOOCY: So Jackson actually, you know, some don't like him because of they say he brutally suppressed the Indians and he was a slave owner. Of course, back then a lot of people owned slaves. He'll be on the back of the bill.

[...]

KILMEADE: Our seventh president was an extraordinary American. He is a true American story, lost both his parents, his brother. Was actually a courier in the Revolutionary War, was beaten by the British, almost killed. Became this incredible general that won the Battle of New Orleans and Pensacola and became a two-term president. Left extremely popular.

DOOCY: Well he’s going to be on the back of the bill, she’s going to be on the front.

KILMEADE: Well, how could you be remaking American history at this rate? It’s incredible.

DOOCY: Politics. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 4/21/16]

Crystal Wright: “We Have Democrats Now Using Our Currency As A Political Weapon To Pander To Their Constituents.” During the April 21 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends, Kilmeade interviewed conservative commentator Crystal Wright who claimed that Democrats are using our currency “as a political weapon to pander to their constituents” and that “they don’t care about” Harriet Tubman. Wright also claimed that the move was just the Democrats’ “endless obsession … over political correctness” while Kilmeade argued we are “run[ning] from our history”:

BRIAN KILMEADE (CO-HOST): Hey, do you got change for a 20? I mean, is there change on a 20? Yes, the Treasury Department announcing it, abolitionist Harriet Tubman will replace former President Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill. And by the way, also a war hero. And while some rejoice, others feel ousting a past president who’s done so much in the founding of the country is a unbelievable sign of disrespect. Here to weigh in, is the publisher and editor of the blog “Conservative Black Chick” and the author of Con Job Crystal Wright. Alright Crystal, what is your take on this? Harriet Tubman, certainly a great American.

CRYSTAL WRIGHT: I love Harriet Tubman. I don't think we should be changing the face of money because Democrats are offended by history. I mean this is once again, we have Democrats now using our currency as a political weapon to pander to their constituents. This isn't about Harriet Tubman, they don't care about her.

KILMEADE: I mean, if you look at Andrew Jackson's background and find he's the founder of the Democratic Party, he’s a two-term president of the United States. He's a war hero, he’s a man who at thirteen years old was jailed by the British and took a boot to the face from the British, a scar he took his entire life. I mean you look at a guy who is a key member of America.

WRIGHT: Look, he was a founding member of America. I don't agree with everything Andrew Jackson did, but I don't agree with everything President Obama has done, right? But now we have to manipulate, you know, Lew, Treasury Secretary Lew, was being forced by liberals, the leftists to put a -- ‘we have to have a woman on the currency,’ -- right? Why are we continuing, now we are going to change the face of money every twenty years so they can pander to their constituents? It's ridiculous. You know, we honor Harriet Tubman in other ways, in many ways. Did you know, Brian, you probably know this, that president, former President George H.W. Bush in 1990 declared Harriet Tubman Day. He created a day in honor of this great abolitionist. I mean.

KILMEADE: That is great respect. I just think there's a huge problem when we are trying to judge our founding fathers instead of hailing what they accomplished and understanding what they have to do with how we got here. Andrew Jackson, there’s going to be a major HBO movie on that. If it came out earlier, would Andrew Jackson be saved as opposed to the Alexander Hamilton play that’s on Broadway, because that makes him safe.

WRIGHT: Of course, well you know why Hamilton was spared, right? The creator of the musical "Hamilton" lobbied Lew, ‘please don’t take Hamilton off the bills, please, please, please.’ And Lew was like, you're right. And I think another motivation for removing Andrew Jackson and replacing him with Harriet Tubman is Andrew Jackson was a slave owner, he was a huge supporter of slavery, you know. But he also took a lot of land from the Native Americans. So why not put a Native American on it? When will this end, this endless obsession with Democrats over political correctness?

KILMEADE: He also took out the British, an army which just destroyed Napoleon, came over here and he defended New Orleans and wiped them out in two-and-a-half hours while experiencing dysentery. So he's a war hero, we build statues, but we’re taking them all down as we run from our history.

WRIGHT: It's also the Black Lives Matter influence. Do you remember the Black Lives Matter mobs? They want to remove all the monuments to our founding of the country? All the monuments in Richmond, Virginia, where I'm from. Oh, let's just rip them down. That's craziness. We got to learn from our history, guys. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 4/21/16]

Greta Van Susteren: “The Obama Administration … Went Stupid” In “Booting” Jackson From The $20 Bill And Replacing Him With Tubman. During the April 20 edition of Fox News’ On The Record, host Greta Van Susteren called the decision “dumb,” claimed that “the Obama Administration … went stupid” and accused Lew of “dividing the country” and “gratuitously stir[ring] up conflict in the nation.” Susteren proposed that Harriet Tubman get “her own bill like a $25 bill”:

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN: Let's all go off-the-record. Don't you wonder why some people don't just use their heads? Well, the Obama Administration did it again. Went stupid. And went stupid for no reason. Here's what's happening: Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is creating a fight, a 100 percent completely unnecessary fight, by booting President Andrew Jackson from the $20 bill and replacing him with a woman, abolitionist Harriet Tubman. You all know I'm a feminist, love to see women acknowledged for the great things they do to contribute to our nation, and Harriet Tubman did and she deserves it. What I don't get is this. Rather than dividing the country between those who happen to like the tradition of our currency and want President Andrew Jackson to stay put and those who want to put a woman on the bill, it's so easy keep everyone happy. We could put a woman on a bill. Tubman, acknowledge her courage and not stir up the country. But give Tubman her own bill like a $25 bill. We could use a $25 bill. Put her picture on that and we could all celebrate. That's the smart and easy thing to do. But, no. Some people don't think, would rather gratuitously stir up conflict in the nation. That is so awful, and yes, dumb. [Fox News, On The Record, 4/20/16]

InfoWars: “Erasing” Jackson From $20 Bill “Will Further Cut Off The Past From The Masses, And Ensures Their Enslavement. An April 20 post on InfoWars criticized the Treasury for adding to “the war for ideological re-engineering” which has led to history ”being whitewashed.” The post concluded that “erasing” Jackson from the front of the $20 bill “will further cut off the past from the masses, and ensure their enslavement”:

The War on Cash has many fronts.

The latest battle is for the face of the currency itself, and the central bankers, who control the front anyway, have imposed a symbolic defeat against the leaders in America’s past who have fought against the stranglehold of the money makers.

Naturally, there are liberal politics at play, fighting for every inch of ground in the war for ideological re-engineering. History is being whitewashed, various figures of antiquity rolling in their graves….

[...]

Erasing Andrew Jackson from the faces of the fiat funny-money that is passed around by an increasingly ignorant and dependent society (which itself has adopted digital currency as the new norm) will further cut off the past from the masses, and ensure their enslavement.[InfoWars, 4/20/16]

Gateway Pundit: “Much [Of] Harriet Tubman’s Story Is Likely Made Up.” On April 20 Gateway Pundit’s Jim Hoft highlighted a Politico article reporting on the pending change to the $20 bill, and added, “for the record … Much [of] Harriet Tubman’s story is likely made up.” [Gateway Pundit, 4/20/16]

Radio Host Joe Walsh: “Sorry Andrew Jackson, You’re Just A Dead White Guy”:

[Twitter.com, 4/17/16]

Matt Drudge: “Obama Moves To Change $5, $10 and $20 Bills … Beyonce On The $100?

[Twitter.com, 4/20/16]

Conservative Review: “Because She’s A Woman Or B/C She Deserves It? The $20 Bill Has A New Model: Harriet Tubman.”

[Twitter.com, 4/20/16]

Fox’s Brian Kilmeade: Taking Jackson Off The $20 Is A “Travesty, “Shows Ignorance.”

[Twitter.com, 4/20/16]

The Weekly Standard’s Robert Wargas Calls The Announcement “More PC Bullshit.”

[Twitter.com, 4/17/16]

We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.