Could a Cherokee Woman Replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 Bill?

The vote to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill is down to the Final Four, and Wilma Mankiller is on the list!  She wasn’t even on the original ballot, but advanced to the last round as a write-in candidate.

You can still vote in the final ballot! 

WomenOn20s started the campaign with this brilliant ad.  Once the voting is over, they will petition President Obama that the winner be put on the $20 bill.  For his part, Obama has said that putting a woman’s face on currency is “a pretty good idea.” Furthermore, he can do it without congressional approval.  He just needs to ask the Secretary of the Treasury.

Wilma Mankiller was the first woman chief of the Cherokee Nation.  She is also the subject of a recent documentary, The Cherokee Word for Water.  Andrew Jackson infamously created the policy of Indian Removal and ordered the Cherokees forcibly moved at gunpoint from North Carolina and Georgia to Oklahoma, openly defying a Supreme Court ruling in the Cherokee’s favor.  As about one in four died along the way, this is known as the Trail of Tears. He also initiated an official policy of ethnic cleansing that, within fifteen years, led to open calls for Indian extermination from Minnesota to California.

cropped-trail_tears_painting.jpg

Native Americans have called for Jackson’s removal from the $20 bill for decades.  I put this #1 on my list of twelve things more offensive than the Washington Redsk*ns.   Suddenly, these demands are gathering forces with women’s activists and leading to a perfect storm of public action.  Wilma Mankiller replacing Andrew Jackson would be poetic justice indeed.

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