Should a Woman Replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 Bill?
A quick history lesson: Andrew Jackson was our seventh president, but before that, he was an American major general. Jackson played a big role in the War of 1812, saving my hometown Mobile, Ala. (and New Orleans) from the British. Yay! He's also responsible for forcing nearly 125,000 Native Americans to abandon their homes in what's known as the Trail of Tears. Sigh.
You might know Jackson most notably from his selfie on the $20 bill - but maybe not for long. The group Women on 20s wants to replace Jackson with a female by Aug. 18, 2020, or the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment, which gave women the right to vote. They've held an open vote for which women should have this honor, and four candidates have emerged: Eleanor Roosevelt, Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks and ironically, Wilma Mankiller, a Cherokee who was born just after her tribe was moved to Oklahoma during the Trail of Tears.
Now, I love girls. I think we are so powerful and do so much for the world (cue Beyonce). But I also know that America is a powerful system and possibly not one to be messed with. It has been an honor, since the U.S. Treasury began printing paper money in 1861, for faces to grace the front of American bills, and each face has a reason to be there. Honest Abe was one of our greatest presidents, while Benjamin Franklin was one of our greatest inventors. And Andrew Jackson was the "Hero of New Orleans." I agree that the great women of America should be honored, too. But is it really an honor, if we have to dishonor a great American man?
Back to Wilma Mankiller. While she, and thousands of other Cherokees should be honored, I think this would be a very immature way to do it. And besides, the U.S. Mint was created British-turned-American citizens, so wouldn't it be playing the Cherokees back into their hands by putting one of their faces on a bill?
So, as a woman, I delegate not to vote for this. I love being a woman, but I also love being American. And what's more, is that I love being Southern. And I will not vote against the man who saved my home. If we really want more women on our money, we can just issue new coins like we did in 2012. It's a lot less work because how on earth are we going to get rid of all of the Jackson $20 bills?
Still, if I had to vote, I would put Eleanor Roosevelt on a coin.