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Trump administration's spurning of Harriet Tubman opens a new front in the monument wars

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tags: money, Harriet Tubman, Trump, bill



THE BIG IDEA: For better or worse, there is no more important monument in any country than its money. Everyone who carries cash is constantly reminded of who their government chooses explicitly to celebrate and what their culture implicitly honors. It’s so much more than a square inch on a piece of paper.

It was a cultural milestone when Barack Obama’s treasury secretary, Jack Lew, announced in April 2016 after years of deliberations that abolitionist Harriet Tubman, an escaped slave who became a conductor on the Underground Railroad, would replace Andrew Jackson, a slaveholder who championed Indian removal and orchestrated the Trail of Tears, on the $20 bill. Lew set in motion a process that would unveil the new design in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote.

Steven Mnuchin, who replaced Lew, disclosed on Wednesday that the Treasury Department no longer plans to unveil a redesigned $20 bill so long as President Trump holds office. The secretary said a redesigned $20 bill will not come out until 2028 at the earliest, punting the decision to a future administration about whether to move ahead with a plan that was announced three years ago.

Trump has come to revere and, in some areas, emulate the seventh president. Jackson’s portrait hangs prominently in the Oval Office. The president even made a pilgrimage to his estate outside Nashville.

Read entire article at Washington Post

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