tubman racism, Ignorance on twitter hits TOO close to home
by trishanna singh, '16
Apparently in our monetary system “Money talks and Jackson Walks”.
Harriet Tubman, an abolitionist and humanitarian, will be replacing President Andrew Jackson on the Twenty Dollar Bill and many Americans did not take kindly to having a white President replaced with an African-American woman who represents an end to abolitionism.
Twitter was filled with hateful and racist remarks by people unhappy on two fronts -- that an African American would be honored in such a distinguished way and those annoyed by the growing feminism movement in our country. The racist remarks shows the quiet and closet racism that people love to use social media as a platform to express. Even some legislators and our Republican nominee for President tried to block this from happening.
Since Hillcrest High School is a melting pot of cultures from a number of different countries, you would think that most would support this change and there would not be one percent of the Hillcrest population that is against this change. However that is not true after a survey was distributed about those that support the change and how they feel about these defaming comments towards Tubman. We polled nearly 70 teachers and students and showed them several Twitter comments and asked them to cite their support or lack thereof of the change. We were shocked by the results.
Of those who took our survey, 21% of our teachers or students did not agree with the change.
To be fair to our school, most of who took our survey thought that the Twitter comments were mean and disgusting. One teacher commented and said, “Difficult comments to digest and even more difficult to ignore.”
Those who supported the change commented that they were happy the change was taking place because history has changed. One student said, “Although I may not know the real reason why there is a change being made on the $20 bill, but I would agree to having a change and changing it to Harriet Tubman because she represents an African American Abolitionist and a strong woman”.
Hillcrest teacher Ms. Rollins also commented and said, “Therefore, as times change, and society change, then it is good that people of color who have made a great impact on the lives of others be accepted in this change as well as those of every color, race, and ethnicity, even if it means to have her picture placed on the $20 Dollar Bill for none of us should look at her as just another black face replacing what is already on these $20 Bills.”
A lot of those who support Tubman being on the $20 Bill would agree with this quote because many comments out there have nothing to do with what Ms. Harriet Tubman has done and went through because of America in the past and for people in our America.
However, there were some discouraging remarks from the 21% that did not agree with the change. The derogatory comments are all about her skin and how she was not a model. Some students commented that “her facial expression is weird on the bill" and one left a derogatory remark that we can't repeat.
One teacher commented that, while it was nice that a woman was chosen for the bill, there were other noteworthy women that should have been chosen first and then proceeded to list some white women like Eleanor Roosevelt and Barbara Bush. Another teacher listed other men as better choices.
It can be concluded from this survey at least ignorance towards our American History is still alive and maybe even racism.
Ms. Zotti, a Health Sciences Director and teacher of the Cultural Diversity course for College Now, teaches students about racism, prejudice, and sexism among other elements. "Racism still lives in our country," Ms. Zotti explained. " I am not shocked by these comments unfortunately."
This all makes you think about where our future is headed in this country. Other respected faces in our history will appear on our U.S currency. Does our country really appreciate the change that has taken in history? It seems that some people can differentiate between action and looks and some cannot. America has changed, and whether certain people like it or not, there is a good serving of it to come.
Some are confused and say that Tubman will replace Jackson entirely, nevertheless, that is not true. Harriet Tubman will take her place on the front of the dollar bill but Andrew Jackson will make his mark on the back. This is such a dramatic change in history and more specifically speaking, for African American History in the United States. Not only was Tubman an abolitionist, but she was a female and this will be noted heavily for feminism and women around the United States. Her being on the Twenty Dollar Bill will set a precedent.
Our country is changing a lot every day. Women are more independent, racism has lessened as Americans fight for equality and our own country thrives on change. Why not make changes that are aligned to our history? Others deserve to be noted for their phenomenal actions that had a long term effect. It is nice to know that maybe one day someone who created change may be on the money that is spent by someone to get a gallon of milk.
The first black female will show her stance on the Twenty-Dollar Bill, and it is all a very happy moment in United States History for those who appreciate it. But take note that there are some racist people out there and they are very benighted towards the idea. Some comments have been nasty and downright ignorant towards the direction of change.