I’m going to assume that you, 2WC’s incredibly informed audience, have already heard the news that a woman will be selected to grace the new $10 bill. (Don’t worry, Hamilton’s not going anywhere…for now…there will be two designs…you can collect them all!) So, I’ll just jump right into the celebration:
Ladies, our day has come! We are officially graduating from small change! Woot!
Okay, now that we’ve celebrated breaking through that ten-dollar glass ceiling, U.S. Department of the Treasury, we need to have a talk. Now, it’s not about who I want to be on the $10 bill…but trust me, I do have thoughts…for later. This is about the choice of the $10 bill over the $20 bill, and it’s not because the $10 bill happens to be at the bottom end of the circulation count (numbers in billions):
I understand that there are protocols, Alexander Hamilton was up next, and you’re not technically booting him, but you really should read a history book before you finalize this decision.
What lies before you is an opportunity to not only make history (history, that’s historic because it should have been made long ago, but history nonetheless) by putting a woman on non-jingling U.S. currency, but to remove Andrew Jackson (the president responsible for the strategic removal of Native Americans from their land, i.e. the Trail of Tears, amongst other things) from the $20.
You need look no further than the titles of their respective musicals to realize the error of your ways:
“Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson”
[Theater Dork Aside: This is not a judgement of the shows, which coincidentally both enjoyed critically acclaimed runs at the Public Theater, before moving to Broadway…Theater Dork, out.]
If you do insist on looking further, just do a quick scroll through the #TheNew10 mentions on Twitter, or Google Andrew Jackson or Alexander Hamilton. People are having strong reactions to this announcement.
I daresay, if you held a vote about this, the headcount may eclipse that of any recent election turnout at the polls. Yes, it’s more than a little depressing, but it’s also an opportunity. If it takes a vote over who stays and who goes on currency to revive public passion for the democratic process, why not?
We (Yes, we. I’m already feeling inspired to consider myself part of the process) could reinvent Democracy for the age of social media. It’s a sentiment that (ironically) Andrew Jackson would have supported (along with slavery and segregation…). Think about it, you could make history.
Finally, I did say I have thoughts on which woman should be the first to grace the paper money of the United States of America, here they are:
Women have been an important and integral part of this nation since the very beginning. There have been great voices and great minds. Some were publicly lauded, others privately went about their business of making this country what it is today. I do not envy in the least the individuals who will have to winnow that incredible list down to the few that the public will eventually weigh in on, but I have little doubt that whoever is chosen will be more than deserving of the posthumous honor. I only wish the honor could have been bestowed on a female far sooner.
Washington Post: Save Alexander Hamilton. Dump Andrew Jackson.
The Guardian: New $10 bill: some of the American women in the running