I was looking at a five quid note and saw the face of the Queen and some other folk I didn’t know. I started thinking about USD notes and which faces were on them. All the faces are those of past Presidents (white, heterosexual [?], wealthy men). George Washington on a one, Thomas Jefferson on the “rare” two, Abe Lincoln on the five, Alexander Hamilton on the ten, Andre Jackson on the twenty, and Old Benjamin Franklin on the hundred’. It took me a while to remember who was on the fifty, but Google reminded it me know it was Ulysses S. Grant.
But I got stuck on Andre Jackson. Now, if you should know anything about good ol’ Andrew Jackson, is that he did some recklessly violent and genocidal things to Native Americans (aside from continuing to enable slavery, voting discrimination, and so on – you know, the usual).
Of course Washington, Lincoln, Benjy, Grant, and Hamilton weren’t saints, but at least with Washington and Lincoln, you can make the argument (though not a compelling one given the facts) that their contribution to The United States (its birth and continuation) outdoes/overshadows their misgivings. Cool, whatever, but Andrew Jackson? Homeboy (not actually a homeboy) was straight up trying to eradicate Native Americans.
And yet, good ol’ Jackson is on the 20 dollar bill.
Then something occurred to me. Whenever I talk about Racism with someone, I always get asked “well, what can we even do about it?” Typically, I think we have to first confront our history head on, as dark as it may be. The question is, how do we go about that?
Then something occurred to me. Replace Andrew Jackson with a Native American.
Poetic Fucking Justice. #PFJ
Imagine. Replacing Jackson with a Native American would start a HUGE conversation about our history, especially history as it relates to Native Americans. I am 100% certain a whole lot of folk (especially white folk) would lose it. They would be so angry for the most irrational reasons. But this would do so much for shifting the discourse and forcing us to face the genocide we committed as a country against Native Americans, confront the fact that we live on stolen land, and that we continue to disenfranchise Native Americans every day. Imagine how mad FOX News would be. I can already hear John Stewart ripping Bill O’Reilly apart for his unsolicited rant.
And while we’re at it, lets just replace all these old, racist, sexist, classist white men with homies that we can all learn from and who were/are serious about making our country the greatest in the world….for everyone.
Wishful thinking. So maybe just replace Andrew Jackson.