April 22, 2016

The argument that Harriet Tubman wouldn't want to be on the $20 and that it disrespects her and appropriates her to use her that way.

I had not thought of this argument until I read Steven Hayward at Power Line making fun of it:
After years of complaining that America’s paper money featured only dead white guys, a lot of folks on the Left are in a snit that Harriet Tubman is going to replace Andrew Jackson on the face of the twenty-dollar bill.... If these people were any whinier they would be kicked out of pre-school....
Hayward links to Feminista Jones (a mental health social worker). I'll excerpt a different quote:
[I]t’s clear that putting [Tubman's] face on America’s currency would undermine her legacy. By escaping slavery and helping many others do the same, Tubman became historic for essentially stealing “property.” Her legacy is rooted in resisting the foundation of American capitalism. Tubman didn’t respect America’s economic system, so making her a symbol of it would be insulting....

Harriet Tubman did not fight for capitalism, free trade, or competitive markets. She repeatedly put herself in the line of fire to free people who were treated as currency themselves. She risked her life to ensure that enslaved black people would know they were worth more than the blood money that exchanged hands to buy and sell them. I do not believe Tubman, who died impoverished in 1913, would accept the “honor,” were it actually bestowed upon her, of having her face on America’s money.
It's such a huge honor to get your face put on money that we may lose sight of the fact that the government is taking a private individual's identity and using it for the government's interest in branding its currency. With a U.S. President, we can infer that the honor would be appreciated and the use of his face granted freely. But with someone who didn't voluntarily assume a position within government, it's harder to make that inference. Why does the government high-handedly assume the woman would give herself to the government's enterprise of merging its cash with lofty values and moral weight?

Power Line's Hayward also links to Steven W. Thrasher at The Guardian, who makes a somewhat different argument:
[T]here’s something frank and honest about [Andrew Jackson] occupying the 20 dollar bill. I mean, who better to represent what the US treasury has bought, and for whom it has amassed its tremendous wealth, than Andrew “trail of tears” Jackson?...

As historian Greg Grandin recently wrote: “Banks capitalized the slave trade and insurance companies underwrote it.”... This is the shit Tubman was escaping: the enslaved exploitation of black bodies for white profit. And it still happens today....

I am getting tired of the whitewashing of racial exploitation with brown faces. Enough with bullshit like McDonald’s slapping MLK’s face on their predatory and poverty creating labor practices.... Putting Tubman’s face on the $20 would only obfuscate how much exploitation there is still left to fight in America....
Thrasher's idea there is not so much Tubman's self-ownership and the importance of figuring out whether she, personally, would agree to play a role in the U.S. government's currency-branding project. Thrasher isn't talking about how Tubman herself would feel, but how he — and the people like him — feel. He's here now, concretely — on the pavement, thinking about the government — and he doesn't like it. He himself appropriates Tubman: her image and identity should be preserved for use on the things he supports. She belongs to him and the people he thinks he speaks for, and he wants to decide where she goes.

82 comments:

Lauderdale Vet said...

People were excited about this until someone pointed out that we're replacing the founder of the Democrat party with a gun-toting Republican woman of color.

Then the back-pedaling mental gymnastics began.

I don't see why we have to change the core currency at all, augmenting it every few years with special runs to commemorate people and events that have shaped our history. We've done limited, simultaneous runs before, no?

The Drill SGT said...

What Vet said... at least the first 2 para :)

rehajm said...

I've become a big fan of ApplePay!

Xmas said...

McDonald's has predatory labor practices? You know, just because a job is a shitty one for a company that only requires the abilities to read and show up on time as requirements doesn't make it some sort of evil.

Quayle said...

"With a U.S. President, we can infer that the honor would be appreciated and the use of his face granted freely. But with someone who didn't voluntarily assume a position within government, it's harder to make that inference. Why does the government high-handedly assume the woman would give herself to the government's enterprise of merging its cash with lofty values and moral weight?"

We are the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ships. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.

Maddad said...

I think Harriet Tubman would have taken the job.

The Drill SGT said...

PS Vet,

She was also what we would call today "Evangelical"

traditionalguy said...

All she said was that Democrats have always used black historical heroes for a political pander to cover up for their being a pro Wall Street Wealth Cabal. But Tubman was a real American hero. She used guns to fight tyranny.

Andy Jackson would have been on her side. The Bank of the United States and the British Empire were Jackson's only enemies.

SGT Ted said...

Why is the left trying to appropriate a gun toting Republican freedom fighter and rebrand her as an icon of leftwing socialist slavery to the State?

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

I never look at the pictures on currency. I only care about the numbers.

tim maguire said...

There will always be people who complain. What's changed is that they used to stand on street corners and shake their fists at the passersby. Now they get immortalized on the internet.

Michael K said...

"I've become a big fan of ApplePay!"

I've become a big fan of gold.

This who are enthusiastic about the war on cash might think a bit about how easy it would be to simply add a few zeros and deduct them from everyone's bank account. After all, it's only electrons.

rehajm said...

This who are enthusiastic about the war on cash might think a bit about how easy it would be to simply add a few zeros and deduct them from everyone's bank account.

I get paid to think about it. Given your two choices I'd recommend 'electrons'.

Basil said...

Nobody is forced to work at McDonalds, for crying out loud. Why do these people get a megaphone, when they should get a mute button?

Larry J said...

Thrasher isn't talking about how Tubman herself would feel, but how he — and the people like him — feel.

To be honest, I don't care the slightest about how he -- and the people like him -- feel. They don't give a damn about how anyone else feels so why should we care about them?

If they're going to go through with this exercise, Tubman is as good a person as any and probably better than most.

David Begley said...

She had one child. One can be sure that there was a license agreement or no surviving heirs.

The Drill SGT said...

David Begley said...
She had one child. One can be sure that there was a license agreement or no surviving heirs


the Painter?

Hagar said...

I would much rather see the image of a rifle-toting, Bible-thumping Republican like Harriet Tubman on the 20 dollar bill than Eleanor Roosevelt, which seems to be the alternative.
In fact, I think I am rather coming around to favor the idea.

SOJO said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amexpat said...

Can we confidently assume that Jackson would want his face on the $20? He was an an adamant opponent of the government control of fiscal policy or the printing of money.

William said...

Jackson supplanted Grover Cleveland on the twenty dollar bill. I think there was a time when who we put on the money wasn't that big a deal.......We're politicizing this issue. We should be monetizing it. The decorative figure on money should be open to the highest bidder. We should make money off our money. McDonald's would undoubtedly like to have their Golden Arches appear on the five dollar bill. They could tie it in with an advertising campaign about how much your five dollars can buy at McDonald's. The higher end stores would probably like the prestige of appearing on the fifty and hundred dollar bills. Perhaps there should be regional issues of these notes. Some corporations might want to issue their own denominations. The possibilities are endless. I see Sony issuing a purple fifteen dollar bill in order to buy a commemorative Prince vinyl.

tim in vermont said...

"Don't worry Ron, they're our planes now." comes to mind.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Just have separate currency for all ethnicity and sexual orientation combinations.

Hagar said...

Perhaps we also could add: "In God we trust - all others pay cash!"

Bob Boyd said...

If American currency is such a symbol of evil, why not pictures of wanted criminals?

'TreHammer said...

I'm with SOJO. Let's sell the naming/imaging rights to our currency. For example, how about something like a Delta Airlines $10 bill or a Microsoft $20 bill or an Apple $50 bill?

rhhardin said...

We should start printing counterfeit money for today's elite to go on.

Ann Althouse said...

Why not make the best deal? It's all about deals now, right? Get the billionaires of America bidding in a "your image here" contest. Help with the national debt.

rhhardin said...

Money should have comment sections.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

This is the shit Tubman was escaping: the enslaved exploitation of black bodies for white profit. And it still happens today....

Anyone care to ask this fella for some other examples? Nah, me either.

Look, it's pretty obvious: you can't win w/the Left. You can't ever win. Full unconditional surrender isn't even enough. You'll be attacked no matter what you do. They'll always find a reason to call you a racist or call your opinion or expression ugly. All they can do is attack--their use of the ideas of "tolerance" and "equality" is just as weapons. Who knows what they actually believe? It doesn't matter, really, you won't be able to keep up anyway.
Even if you manage to capitulate fast enough now, such that you give them everything they say they want, it won't be enough. There's always the past! I mean, in the past the US had slavery, the US was imperialistic, the US was a warmongering profiteer...etc. Since we got to where we are by going through the past, the present is always tainted, too! You will never win, and it will never end.

gerry said...

What they didn't teach you about Harriet Tubman in school.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said... Help with the national debt.

Do we still have one of those? Golly, I'd just about forgotten--it's not mentioned on the news much lately. Funny, that.

David said...

"She had one child."

She had an adopted daughter but no natural born child unless you believe the tale that her niece was actually her unacknowledged daughter.

Much of what you will read about Harriet Tubman is exaggerated or untrue. Which is unfortunate because the truth of her life is more than creditable. But the untrue stuff gets written and repeated even though there are truthful yet admiring accounts of her life. Since the real currency of the land these days is bullshit and misinformation putting her on actual currency somehow seems appropriate.

David said...

The piece in the National Review linked by Gerry repeats several of the standard exaggerations and adds some new ones for (right wing) political effect. Why should the lefties have all the fun.

pdug said...

" taking a private individual's identity and using it for the government's interest in branding its currency. "

The individual is dead. They have no identity. There is our memory of the dead, but the dead woman has no claim in law.

The Drill SGT said...

exhelodrvr1 said...
Just have separate currency for all ethnicity and sexual orientation combinations.


It's been done already.

See the three dollar bill...

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Three+Dollar+Bill

Sydney said...

Have you ever lived with a chronic complainer? Someone who is never satisfied with anything you do and constantly nit-picking your every action and word? I haven't, either, but I feel like I have on a national level for the past 8 years or so.

hawkeyedjb said...

Oh, breaking news. Another lefty hates America and everything it stands for.

Sun rose today. Good reason to hate on your country. Yawn.

Rick said...

Her legacy is rooted in resisting the foundation of American capitalism. Tubman didn’t respect America’s economic system, so making her a symbol of it would be insulting....

It's true she didn't respect America's economic system as it included slavery, but the elements she abhorred were not capitalism or free markets. Free markets economics support voluntary exchange.

Jones's comments are superficial nonsense. She hates capitalism so deeply she claims an escaped slave did not support the economic freedom which would include freedom for her and all slaves. Politics makes people crazy.

Rick said...

Enough with bullshit like McDonald’s slapping MLK’s face on their predatory and poverty creating labor practices....

It's quite a shock to note the crazies are economically illiterate as if we aren't reminded of this combination by a certain commenter. The beliefs require the illiteracy.

James Pawlak said...

To reflect our "Zeitgeist" the featured woman should be Monica Lewinsky. The reverse of the bill might well have a picture of a pair of knee-pads or "That Dress".

whswhs said...

This ideological argument really has things backward. On one hand, people were buying and selling slaves long before there was any such thing as capitalism. In fact, what was distinctive about capitalism was that it brought in the buying and selling of machines that could take the place of slaves. And on the other, the leading classical economists were quite consistently opposed to slavery, both on moral grounds and on grounds of sound economic policy. See "How the Dismal Science Got Its Name," which traces the label "the dismal science" to Thomas Carlyle's detestation of the antislavery movement.

It appears that what Tubman was seeking was in fact quite compatible with capitalism: The right to be a free proprietor of her own labor. And on the other hand it should be noted that the Trail of Tears was the product of Jackson's wilful refusal to obey a verdict of the Supreme Court and thus did not reflect the legal values of capitalism; it was an extralegal usurpation of the property rights of the Cherokee.

mezzrow said...

Grandin will be happy to know that McDonald's "predatory and poverty creating labor practices" won't be an issue for long. Those enslaved McD's workers are the buggy whips of 2018. The professor and I are the buggy whips of [insert year here].

The distinction will be moot to those coming along in 100 years or so.

exhelodrvr1 said...

James Pawlak,
Or the top of her head.

SteveR said...

This is way more complicated than Valerie Jarrett thought when she told Barry what to do with his pen.

EMD said...

Her friends call Feminista, Fista, for short.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Her legacy is rooted in resisting the foundation of American capitalism. Tubman didn’t respect America’s economic system, so making her a symbol of it would be insulting....

The idea that being opposed to slavery means you were opposed to capitalism is ahistorical nonsense. Anyone who states such a thing can be ignored because they clearly know next to nothing about the abolitionist movement or they are arguing in bad faith.

Abolitionists argued that regardless of what you might think of blacks as a people, it was immoral steal their labor. They argued that everyone had the right to profit from their labors and that taking their labor through force was evil.

Abolitionists were about as Marxist as Libertarians.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

it should be noted that the Trail of Tears was the product of Jackson's wilful refusal to obey a verdict of the Supreme Court and thus did not reflect the legal values of capitalism; it was an extralegal usurpation of the property rights of the Cherokee.

Exactly, the Cherokees were successful farmers and had been for generations. People with political power wanted the land and used their power to appropriate it.

Kind of reminds me of Kelo, except with genocide.

Michael K said...

"Abolitionists argued that regardless of what you might think of blacks as a people, it was immoral steal their labor."

One of the first American abolitionists was Hamilton who grew up in a slave society and whose mother might have been mixed race. Hamilton=Capitalism.

The people carrying on about this are on the left tail of the IQ distribution.

Michael K said...

"While African Americans were suspicious — often rightly — of Union soldiers, they were willing to trust Tubman"

This is a bit exaggerated. One of the heroes of Sherman March to the Sea was Maryann (Mother) Bickerdyke who was a nurse who organized freed slaves to help her build kitchens to feed the troops and who discovered that blackberries, found wild all over the South, would prevent scurvy. Nobody knew about vitamins but she was observant and had much to do with the health and diet of soldiers. She also organized the freed slaves who accompanied Sherman's army into what the general called "General Bickerdyke's army."

Sherman considered the slaves who accompanied his army to be a nuisance but she organized them and kept them, along with the soldiers, fed. They flocked to the army but did impede them at times.

AlbertAnonymous said...

Aaannnddddd there it is! The perpetual grievance machine marches on.

Who couldn't predict this would just continue?

Off topic, but have you been watching the Twitter comments slamming Scott Walker's tribute to Prince? Apparently we can't just be human beings with human emotions. Apparently, if you are white (or if you're conservative, or if we just don't like you because we adjudge that you're too judgmental and intolerant) you are not allowed to pay tribute to a dead celebrity of color because Racism or appropriation or micro aggression or safe spaces or some such...

aritai said...

vJackson and the Trail of Tears is a deep discussion. There was a diverse collection of tribes, many of which we'd label terrorist today. A very few were more acclimated and peaceful, educated, spoke English, intermarried, owned slaves, understood what private property was and why it was important, wrote and honored contracts and treaties, and behaved honorably, as good or better than the Europeans, and more. Arguably more acclimated that some of your own immigrants today. The majority of the other tribes, and arguably just some of their families ruined it for the minority. The minority often peaceable fraction tried to kill of the terrorist fraction themselves because they knew they'd be damned as well, so they tried and failed. After many horrific attacks on settlers (arguably worse than the trail of tears given the difference between terror and "simple" disaster like a plague that killed 90% of the native population long before the Europeans arrived) and the occasional starvation when rain dancing didn't bring the rains, which happened all too often, Jackson was forced by your congress to respond as the newly elected "representative of the common man. the common man being the "terrified" not him. Which he eventually did by exiling the entire native population since if they couldn't solve their terrorist problem, he could, if he had to, and he did. So he responded to the settler's demand in the best way he could.

They tried a TSA and it didn't work. As well as negotiation after negotiation, often led by Americans with the best and most honorable of intentions, often with native wives, sitting across from well educated, knowledgeable natives, which started with both sides believing in the Israeli notion if we are just patient, maybe they'll outgrow it. They didn't. Removal was arguably the best worst option, where Jackson refused the popular and congressional demand to just kill them all. Something he was very good at, especially after the British raped a few American women and wives of his friends in the war of 1812. A sad time for all. A tragedy, the things we do to ourselves knowing what the result will be. The Americans refused to just sit there and live in terror, if not all be killed off themselves. Sound familiar? There are many native Americans pictures that belong on your currency as well, as a monument to their own courage and their determination and morality in the face of adversity even when they faced an adversary who had no option but kill or be killed, in a day before walls or TSAs could be built that could lower the number of horrific events to some tolerable level. Many tears were spilled. And if you want to see a truly horrific agency, investigate the DIA. You can spend more and not get less. If there's a God... Note Jackson was also a traitor to his class, fellow slave owners of which he was one of the best, and after several assignation attempt by his class who know that Jackson had joined the northerners he set the stage for the civil war by shutting the door on secession, giving Lincoln his chance to settle the matter, vice leaving Lincoln the option to defer to the British, who were happy to have the cotton growing part of America back, as long as it wasn't them getting their hands dirty with slavery which they’d outlawed and America had long since stopped importing to gain the economic benefit.

The Godfather said...

Let's not forget that Lincoln was able to free enslaved southern Blacks because the North was capitalist and the South was feudal.

oleh said...

She did work for the US Army. Does that change anything?

CWJ said...

When it comes to appropriating the identities of the dead, the US Treasury are pikers compared to the US Postal Service. Now THERE's identity theft on an industrial scale.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

The Godfather said...
Let's not forget that Lincoln was able to free enslaved southern Blacks because the North was capitalist and the South was feudal.


Yes, but not only just more capitalist, but also much more industrial, more engaged in diverse international trade, more involved in banking and finance, etc. More "modern" in many of the ways the Left says are bad!

[A line of argument I found fascinating is that the South's banking laws largely mandated lots of individual small banks whereas the North went to branch banking (and larger banks in general) much sooner, and that this helped ensure that almost all of the profits/excess capital from the South went to banks in the North where that capital helped fund industrialization and infrastructure improvements that in turn helped the North win the war. Turns out sometimes finance matters quite a bit!]

Mom2Es said...

My takeaway from this is that we're apparently only supposed to put pictures of people we hate on the fiat currency since it's such a dishonor. That must be why they're leaving Jackson on the back. He would have been appalled to have his face on the money he was opposed to printing in the first place.

Richard Dolan said...

Newsflash: Harriet Tubman is dead, has been for 100 years and is quite likely to remain dead for many more. So any use of her name-image-whatever today, has very little to do with what she wants (dead people don't have many 'wants') and no one knows what she would have wanted (assuming, counterfactually, it would make any difference). Instead, invoking her today has everything to do with what the person doing so wants and is seeking to achieve.

Second newflash: Afro-Americans are, by definition, Americans, and America is and is quite likely to remain a more-or-less free enterprise kind of place. You know, the kind of place where each of us gets to decide, again more-or-less, what we want to do with our lives and our money. So it's a bit bizarre to say that it is offensive to use the name or image of Tubman in connection with that common enterprise. Guys like Thrasher can't seem to decide whether they want in or out.

FullMoon said...

Comments from "man on the street" local news interviews are all about "It's about time we had a woman ..."etc.

Correlates with "It's about time we have a woman President".


BTW, anyone else notice how often Obama leaves the country immediately after the shit hits the fan?

Back when America was a "melting pot", nobody would give a damn about this.

Lance said...

the government is taking a private individual's identity and using it for the government's interest in branding its currency.

I don't know why you put people's faces on money, but I put people's faces on money as a tribute, as a way to say "This person is important, you should learn about them and emulate them." If that's appropriation then so be it.

Chris Low said...

I think it's cool. Jack Lew set aside party politics, kicked the founder of the Democratic party off the twenty and replaced him with a gun-toting, freedom loving, fundamentalist Christian Republican. The fact she was black is neither here nor there. Racial discrimination played no part in the selection process. (Indeed, the original plan was to replace Hamilton, the mixed-race founding father, with Susan B Anthony. Anthony was not only a Republican, she was a privileged, angry, white Republican.)

Mark Caplan said...

Actually, Tubman owned property and land and was a wheeler-dealer herself, to the extent that a couple of city-slickers used her greed for a quick buck to scam her out of $2,000 that she had borrowed from a friend. Although she died in poverty, it wasn't for lack of trying to pile up the bling.

exhelodrvr1 said...

She was in favor of waterboarding slave owners.

jimbino said...

Imagine how God feels having his name blazoned on all the coins and bills of the land. This in spite of the Commandment,"Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain."

Michael said...

Compromise. Put her on the Penny and Lincoln on the Twenty.

Michael said...

And create a new coin, the hapenny and put Obama on that one.

Danno said...

WTF? What is all this buffoonery about money representing capitalism? Even Socialist countries have money. Money is a store of value, and recognized as such in economics, so that we all do not have to barter for every single good or service we'd like to acquire.

Michael K said...

"Jackson and the Trail of Tears is a deep discussion."

Yes, Jefferson recognized that the Indians were not going to be able to live with the whites after the northern tribes joined the French in1763 and massacred settlers. The Iroquois lived in houses, had grist mills and glass windows, plus many sent their children to Dartmouth for schooling with the white children. Still, when they thought they had a chance to expel the whites, they joined the French in that war and made expulsion almost mandatory after the Revolution.

Jefferson planned that the Indians would have everything west of the Mississippi. That was part of the plan that led to the "Trail of Tears." Of course, that never held once the immigration from Europe swelled the numbers of settlers.

Kansas City said...

Interesting discussion. Debate over whose face is on the $20 is overblown. Who looks at picture? I guess more will now.

To me, I think it is a good thing that the founder of the democratic party, a racist slave owner, is replaced by an slave who escaped from slavery to secure freedom and risked her life for her fellow slaves and for her country.

Lem said...

"Thrasher isn't talking about how Tubman herself would feel, but how he — and the people like him — feel."

Thrasher don't feel no-ways tarred.

Anthony said...

I vote for Jo Nosuchinsky on the 20, because HOT.

eddie willers said...

The Bank of the United States and the British Empire were Jackson's only enemies.

Plus those pesky redskins.

Craig said...

The addition of a dead freedom fighter means we can no longer refer to paper currency as exclusively dead presidents.

Craig said...

Hamilton and Franklin, a dead banker and a dead womanizer, could both be more generously construed as dead freedom fighters.

Gahrie said...

Compromise. Put her on the Penny and Lincoln on the Twenty.

Lincoln is already on the five.

Zach said...

The idea that Tubman had some kind of generalized objection to *property* is fascinatingly bad.

I mean, just for starters, many slaves thought that they weren't property. Or that even if they were property, that maybe they shouldn't be! I know that this might be considered a subtle point, but many slaves considered it important at the time.

Less sarcastically, the issue of being paid cash wages was a *major* issue for free blacks in the antebellum South. It was a very cash poor society, and lots of employers would offer room and board in lieu of cash. I remember reading one ex-slave's memoirs (probably Frederick Douglas, but I forget exactly who), where he made a big deal about insisting on being paid in cash. So appearing on currency might be extra special for someone of Tubman's background.

gadfly said...

Just as one dollar coins disappeared from commerce when the coins were redesigned, first with Susan B. Anthony and then with the unfamiliar and unfamous Sacagawea. Funny thing, but the Eisenhower dollar coin was heavy and had lots of silver but the coin got smaller and the precious metal all but disappeared when the women got involved. Now Harriett Tubman with an equally unfamiliar history is taking the $20 bill from Old Hickery. Now Old Hickery was really famous!

JamesB.BKK said...

Actual people should not be on US currency. It is a practice of failing empires which grew from formerly prosperous republics, monarchies, and personality cult tyrannies. The US government did not do this until 1909, post the empire created by Lincoln. As the selected quotes show, this practice is being used to pit portions of the population against others.

Kansas City said...

A lot of interesting comments. I just don't think who is on the $20 bill is very important but it has produced interesting reactions.

One is by Pat Buchanan (Jackson fan), who I quoted below. The most interesting part was "Great men are rarely good men." I had never heard or thought in those terms? Reagan? George Bush I? Lincoln? Grant? Washington? Truman? I think of each of them as good men.

"Was Jackson responsible for the Cherokees' "Trail of Tears"?

Yes. And Harry Truman did Hiroshima, and Winston Churchill did Dresden.

Great men are rarely good men, and Jackson was a Scots-Irish duelist, Indian fighter and slave owner. But then, Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Madison and Monroe were slave owners before him."

JamesB.BKK said...

"I remember reading one ex-slave's memoirs (probably Frederick Douglas, but I forget exactly who), where he made a big deal about insisting on being paid in cash. So appearing on currency might be extra special for someone of Tubman's background."

Used to be that cash was redeemable for gold. That gave the person holding it freedom. But no more. Now, gold's considered a barbaric relic by the agents of the same institution that enforced the institution of slavery and made currency irredeemable for gold, but which now is somehow to be trusted with ordering our lives - the US government.

JamesB.BKK said...

What ended the institutions of chattel slavery and its sibling, horse culture, to make power? Not people carrying out the same types of futile acts against these institutions as generations and generations had before across the planet. The root cause was a new machine. Specifically, it was the efficient and scalable reciprocating steam engine invented by James Watt of Scotland (patented 1781), complemented by fresh ideas about free exchange then coming out of that same small country and pockets of the North American British colonies and then United States. This machine, together with interventions and interdictions by the British and American Navies in attacking the Dutch trade and no longer paying tribute to the Barbary states among other things, made slavery uneconomical for work within less than 100 years of its invention. The rest was mopping up operations. Thus, a man, James Watt, should be credited with creating the conditions for the end of slavery, an institution that persisted for thousands of years, worldwide, except for the few backward Arab and African states in which it continues to this day. Abraham Lincoln and his gang were the only people on the planet who had a bloodletting supposedly to end the practice, if conventional wisdom is accepted as true.

ken in tx said...

"Imagine how God feels having his name blazoned on all the coins and bills of the land. This in spite of the Commandment,"Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain."

God is not God's name. Yahweh, Elohim, among others are God's proper names. God is not one of them.