Target: Jack Lew, United States Secretary of the Treasury
Goal: Remove Andrew Jackson’s face from the $20 bill.
Andrew Jackson’s face is printed on the $20 bill despite the fact that he was one of the most odious characters in American history. He was responsible for some of the most repulsive human rights violations the United States has ever seen. His Indian Removal Act uprooted members of Native American tribes and forced them into western territory. This resulted in the agonizing Trail of Tears, which claimed thousands of lives.
Jackson’s blatant disregard for human rights led to the subjugation of peaceful Native Americans tribes. According to the historian Howard Zinn in his book, A People’s History of the United States, “The Cherokees followed a policy of nonviolence, though their property was being taken, their homes were being burned, their schools were closed, their women mistreated, and liquor was being sold in their churches to render them even more helpless.”
The time has come for us to universally acknowledge Andrew Jackson’s cruel and violent nature, and to remove his face from the $20 bill. The fact that he is honored on the $20 bill is not only a bizarre instance of historical amnesia, but it is also immoral.
Many of his contemporaries, such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, recognized the injustice of the American Indian removal. It was within Jackson’s moral capabilities to realize that his actions were wrong. As a country, we should honor only the historical characters who deserve to be honored, and Andrew Jackson is not worthy of our collective praise. Ask Jack Lew, Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, to take immediate steps to remove Jackson from the $20 bill and replace him with a more honorable figure.
Dear Mr. Lew,
I am surprised that Andrew Jackson’s face continues to be printed on the twenty dollar bill. As I’m sure you’re aware, Jackson was responsible for the Indian Removal Act, one of the most shameful episodes in American history. During this time, many members of Native American tribes were displaced from their homes and were moved westward. Thousands died as a result of sickness and hunger. If the President of the United States were to commit such acts today, they would be considered nothing less than crimes against humanity.
I don’t believe that Jackson deserves his place on the $20 dollar bill, and I ask that you please take immediate steps to replace him with a more honorable figure. We should not be honoring a man who committed such terrible crimes.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Chris Butterworth via Flickr