By Ed Raymond
18 April 2021
What Are Our National Goals?
I imagine that every person who has lived as long as I have feels that they have lived in transformational times that may change the world. At 89, I get up each morning eager to get to the TV and computer to see what has happened in the 24-hour news cycle.
Sometimes I like what I see, sometimes I curse. Yesterday, in an article about aging, I saw that the odds I will not reach 90 is one in six. So today I hope I will get to 95. I’m following the Minneapolis police murder trial with great interest because of my experiences with race over a lifetime.
Whether the fired policeman will be convicted or not, I feel his trial will finally change our attitudes about the “differences” between “races.” The world is watching—and evaluating. The scientific evidence is that we all came out of Africa and that we were all affected by ultraviolet rays or the lack thereof.
Before I die I want to see Black slave Harriet Tubman replace White slave owner Andrew Jackson on our $20 bill. It will be a significant replacement. I have lived through three years of King Jim Crow I in the South and almost 65 years of King Jim Crow II in the North. Last week I wrote about gay Alan Turing of Enigma code-breaking fame being placed on the English 50-pound note, establishing the fact that homosexuality is now accepted by a strong majority of thinking persons in most countries.
Harriet Tubman was born a slave in the 1820s in Maryland and escaped to freedom in Philadelphia in 1849. An illiterate, but later called “a highly intelligent person,” Harriet assisted thousands of slaves to escape to Northern states and Canada on the now famous Underground Railroad. It was against the laws of many slave states to teach Negroes to read and write. Harriet left no written records.
During the Civil War she served as a scout, spy, and nurse for the Union Army. In one sensational military raid on a South Carolina plantation, she ended up leading 750 slaves to the safety of the Underground Railroad. She was described as a “small unstoppable woman who was always dignified.” Tubman always insisted that God would not allow Abraham Lincoln to win the war unless he freed all the slaves. Tubman died in 1913 at an age of around 90, dressed in the white uniform of a suffragette seeking the vote.
In 2015 President Barack Obama approved a plan to place her image on the $20 bill in place of Jackson, hoping it would occur in about five years. But King Donald was elected in 2016 and said he admired the slave owner more and said it was “political correctness” to put Tubman on the bill. Before he left office, Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin said that “security requirements” might postpone the change until 2030. I would like to see the Biden administration make it a priority to replace Jackson with Tubman by 2025. We need to add her $20 bill to history as soon as possible.
What Will the World Look…