[Ed. – Because money.]
Victoria M. Massie at Vox believes replacing Andrew Jackson with Harriet Tubman on the face of the 20 is “tricky” (i.e., problematic), and Ijeoma Oluo at the Guardian believes it “papers over racism” because money is, of course, a symbol of capitalist oppression. Massie quotes Jay Smooth, “What we’re basically talking about right now is honoring the work Harriet Tubman did to free us from slavery by putting her face on the reason we were in slavery.”
Oluo shares this line of thought:
Our economic system has always required winners and losers. It has always required that a select few occupy the top tiers, while the rest are forced into their respective rungs lower on the ladder. Race has always been one of the easier identifiers for those who need to designate an “other” for exploitation.
In other words, not only did a large number of American capitalists participate in the slave trade, the capitalist system is intrinsically exploitative and unjust.
Last year, Feminista Jones wrote on the same topic in the Washington Post that Tubman’s “legacy is rooted in resisting the foundation of American capitalism [slavery]. Tubman didn’t respect America’s economic system, so making her a symbol of it would be insulting.”