We Will Smoke Them All
I was watching the news the other day and was thrilled when someone finally remembered Harriet Tubman was supposed to replace Andrew Jackson on the twenty dollar bill. It’s not going to happen. So, I guess, the thrill is gone. But at least I know I’m not alone in my despair.
Three years ago, I wrote a blog post about this very subject. Because this was supposed to happen three years ago. I would like to share it now in an effort to spread my despair to as many people as possible. To add further despair, I wrote this the same day Prince died. Therefore, it is filled with Prince lyrics. And the title is a Prince lyric. Now grab a box of tissues and please enjoy the following:
I have a Susan B. Anthony silver dollar. It's in a shoe box in my closet. The U.S. Mint made the coin so close in size and shape to the quarter that it was often confused for a quarter. What should have been a proud moment to see this icon of women's suffrage honored was almost immediately devalued by seventy-five percent. Even on actual currency there is a wage gap. Susan B. Anthony doesn't want to be in a shoe box in my closet. She wants to lead a glamorous life.
The U.S. Mint has tried to put women on currency a few times. Very few. They royally screwed it up each time. I'm going to say they did it on purpose. All currency in circulation has men on it and it seems to be working fine. I think they're treating this whole women on money thing like men who don't want to do their laundry. They pretend not to know how the washing machine works, ask if dryer sheets go in the washer, and purposely over stuff it until we give up and do the laundry for them. Seems I was busy doing something close to nothing. The U.S. Mint put Susan B. Anthony in the dryer until she shrunk. Women all across the nation sighed and said, "Fine. Whatever. I'll spend George Washingtons."
In 1886, Martha Washington was jacked onto some weird silver dollar certificate. The only time a solo woman was ever featured on paper money and it couldn't even be spent like real money. It could only be traded in to the Treasury for a dollars worth of silver, which I'm assuming was then confused with a quarter.
In 1865, the baptism of Pocahontas was included on the back side of the twenty dollar bill. The front side of that twenty dollar bill featured both The Battle of Something or Other and a procession led by Columbia. Columbia, a fictional woman, beat out Pocahontas, a real woman, for the front side of the twenty. And to add insult to insult, even the fictional woman had to share the front with a bunch of random soldiers from a battle the name of which I can't be bothered to remember.
Finally, in 1999, Sacajawea was featured on a one dollar coin which met the same fate as the Susan B. Anthony coin. Sacajawea is the most recent one and she disappeared so fast I'll bet you don't even remember her. She walked in through the out door.
This week it was announced Harriet Tubman will replace Andrew Jackson on the twenty dollar bill. Sort of. They plan on putting Andrew Jackson on the back of the bill. Harriet Tubman was born into slavery and later escaped. She then risked her own freedom rescuing people from enslavement through the Underground Railroad. She was an armed scout and spy for the United States Army. After the Civil War, she was an active participant in the women's suffrage movement. She could have stopped after the war. She'd done more good for our country than any one person is obligated to. But she kept fighting for everyone's freedoms. She was a truly remarkable woman. No one in the whole universe will ever compare. Andrew Jackson was a genocidal psychopath. We can take him off of money entirely. He doesn't need to be crawling up Harriet Tubman's butt.
It's hard to allow myself to get excited about the Harriet Tubman bill, because I don't trust the U.S. Mint not to screw it up. Please excuse me while I write an open letter to the U.S. Mint.
Dear U.S. Mint,
Please don't screw up. Harriet Tubman should never be in a shoe box in my bedroom closet. I need a love that's gonna last.
In the three days since the Tubman announcement, creepers everywhere have discovered they have a profound attachment to Andrew Jackson. It does make sense for creepers to attach themselves to a genocidal psychopath over a self-sacrificing heroine.
Creeper Number One: Donald Trump. Trump called it "pure political correctness." No, Creeper, it's simply correct. Trump uses "politically correct" like Kanye West uses "keeping it real." They're both weak justifications for acting like a creeper. Hey Creepers, act your age not your shoe size. Trump said Andrew Jackson was a great man and suggested creating a new currency for Harriet Tubman.
Creeper Number Two: Ben Carson. He suggested putting Harriet Tubman on the two dollar bill. Translation: Let's skip the charade and put her on currency that's already in a shoe box in my closet. Love 'em and leave 'em fast.
Creeper Number Three: Greta Van Susteran. She said it's stupid to put Harriet Tubman on the twenty dollar bill and suggested creating a twenty-five dollar bill instead. Oh, honey baby, that's a dead end.
Creeper Number Four: Jeb! Bush. During one of the early republican debates, the candidates were asked what woman they would choose to be on the ten dollar bill. (It was originally suppose to be the ten dollar bill. Then there was something about a Broadway play and now it's the twenty). Each candidate gave some nonsense answer like my mom, my wife or my daughter. Jeb! picked Margaret Thatcher. He couldn't even think of an American woman to put on money. And his mom, a former first lady, would have been a legit choice. Somewhere in the audience, Barbara Bush was shaking her head and asking "How can you just leave me standing alone in a world that's so cold?"
The only way to prevent the Harriet Tubman twenty dollar bill from failing is to replace all men on paper currency with women. Seven denominations of paper money are currently circulating.
All Seven and We'll Watch Them Fall:
1. Since George Washington is also on the quarter, it's only fitting to replace him with Susan B. Anthony. Susan B. Anthony will finally be worth a whole dollar. She'll no longer need to hide in a shoe box in my closet. Even doves have pride.
2. The two dollar bill is actually still in circulation even though most people keep it in a shoe box in their closets. Replacing Thomas Jefferson probably won't do much to change that, but I'm doing it anyway. Tina Fey is going into a shoe box in your closet. Her impersonation of Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live is the only thing that makes Sarah Palin tolerable. It was Saturday night. I guess that makes it all right.
3. Lincoln is another greedy dude on both the penny and the five dollar bill. Lincoln is being replaced with Oprah. I like 'em fat. I like 'em proud.
4. Pocahontas will be featured on the ten dollar bill. Of course, it will be the fictional Disney cartoon version of she who paints with all the colors of the wind. Animals strike curious poses. Alexander Hamilton is being honored in some hit Broadway musical. He'll be fine.
5. Genocidal psychopath Andrew Jackson is being replaced on the twenty dollar bill by courageous humanitarian Harriet Tubman. I already told you that. Pay attention.
6. Ulysses S. Grant is a president known for doing something in some war. He's being replaced on the fifty dollar bill by a woman who did something in some war, Molly Pitcher. If you've never heard of her, you may find a biography of her in the children's section of your local library. That's how I heard of her. Since you're probably not going to do that, I'll tell you what you need to know. At the Battle of Something or Other, Molly Pitcher carried water back and forth to the soldiers and tended to the wounded. When her husband was hit, she grabbed his gun and took his place in The Battle of Something or Other. War is all around us. My mind says prepare to fight.
7. It's not about the Benjamins anymore. I'm putting Rosa Parks on the one-hundred dollar bill. She'll never be at the back of any bus again. People carrying Rosa Parkses in their wallets don't take the bus. They ride in style. Trump style. I guess I should have known by the way you parked your car sideways that you lack class.
Photo by Tristan Loper | CC-BY-SA-2.0