Culture

The Congressman Who Thinks Harriet Tubman On The $20 Is ‘Racist’ Loses His Bid

On Tuesday evening, the internet was abuzz over the congressman who proposed an amendment to block Harriet Tubman on the $20, which seemed like a suspect move at best. No real purpose can be served by crushing the widespread glee many folks unleashed at the prospect of the first black woman — and celebrated abolitionist — on a banknote. Yet some people were upset that Andrew Jackson was losing his lofty perch, and Iowa Rep. Steve King was one of them. He tried to block Tubman’s appearance on the bill in one shady maneuver related to Treasury funding.

The good news is that the House of Representatives declined to vote on King’s proposed block. This is a wise move, but the internet still didn’t know the congressman’s true reasons (although they could guess) for wishing to block Tubman on currency. Now Politico reports that King tried to mansplain himself. He believes Tubman’s appearance on the bill is “sexist” and “racist,” and all he wants is for nothing to change, ever:

“It’s not about Harriet Tubman, it’s about keeping the picture on the $20. Y’know? Why would you want to change that? I am a conservative, I like to keep what we have.”

King could have stopped there and simply looked like a crotchety fellow who’s stuck in his ways. But no, kept on talking himself into a hole:

“Here’s what’s really happening: This is liberal activism on the part of the president that’s trying to identify people by categories, and he’s divided us on the lines of groups. … This is a divisive proposal on the part of the president, and mine’s unifying. It says just don’t change anything.”

On Wednesday morning, CNN’s New Day addressed the matter with light ridicule. Hosts Alisyn Camerota and Chris Cuomo pretended to debate the bill with Cuomo taking King’s side. Camerota insisted, “Women and people of color have been woefully underrepresented in our history books and our currency,” and this happened because society refused to recognize the role they played in history. She then asserted that Tubman on the $20 would not be revisionism.

Camerota passed the topic to Cuomo, who — hilariously — had nothing to offer on King’s behalf and moved on to the next subject. This video of the New Day segment comes courtesy of Raw Story.

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