Sen. Jim Webb scolds supporters of Harriet Tubman’s new home on the 20-dollar bill, because they’ve been disparaging President Andrew Jackson too much.
One would think we could celebrate the recognition that Harriet Tubman will be given on future $20 bills without demeaning former president Andrew Jackson as a “monster,” as a recent Huffington Post headline did. And summarizing his legendary tenure as being “known primarily for a brutal genocidal campaign against native Americans,” as reported in The Post, offers an indication of how far political correctness has invaded our educational system and skewed our national consciousness.
This dismissive characterization of one of our great presidents is not occurring in a vacuum. Any white person whose ancestral relations trace to the American South now risks being characterized as having roots based on bigotry and undeserved privilege. Meanwhile, race relations are at their worst point in decades.
Aaauugh. It’s too bloody early [here] for this ineffable twaddle. Race relations are at their worst point in decades? Yes, I’d say they are, but perhaps you should figure out just why that is so.
Far too many of our most important discussions are being debated emotionally, without full regard for historical facts. The myth of universal white privilege and universal disadvantage among racial minorities has become a mantra, even though white and minority cultures alike vary greatly in their ethnic and geographic origins, in their experiences in the United States and in their educational and financial well-being.
Into this uninformed debate come the libels of “Old Hickory.”
Old Hickory. Did you know that Jackson was known as Sharp Knife among many Indigenous peoples? Ever heard Indian Killer Jackson?
As president, Jackson ordered the removal of Indian tribes east of the Mississippi to lands west of the river. This approach, supported by a string of presidents, including Jefferson and John Quincy Adams, was a disaster, resulting in the Trail of Tears where thousands died. But was its motivation genocidal?
I can answer that. Yes. Yes, it was. Fuck, I can’t take any more right now. Need tea.
johnson catman says
I am a white person with ancestral relations to the US South, and I freely admit the privilege I have experienced in my lifetime. Any white person that steps back and tries to look objectively at their life would have to truthfully admit it. It is also, unfortunately, entirely clear that the history of bigotry and oppressing minorities still holds sway among a sizable percentage of the population of the US South as well as the rest of the country.
Exactly. There’s no shame in having Southern roots, but there should be shame attached to those who want to deny the past bigotry and deny history. For some people, there’s no separating the two.
So, now simply pointing out the truth is “political correctness”.
Yes. This also applies to anything to do with transgender peoples.
If you’re from Tennessee, MAYBE you have a legit complaint about Jackson — it isn’t as if the state has a whole bunch of important folks to be proud of. If you’re from anywhere else, the Jackson debate is a pretty good litmus test of whether or not you’re a bigot, since there’s pretty much no way any reasonable person could conclude Jackson is more admirable than Tubman.
I also wonder how many of Jackson’s current defenders could have named a single one of his accomplishments (other than being a white male) two weeks ago.
For those who may have missed the earlier post on this issue:
And about Sharp Knife in particular:
A lot of them, steeped in racism, are fully aware of many of Indian Killer Jackson’s “accomplishments”. They are proud of them.
Andrew Jackson didn’t like banks, either. In his Presidency, he fought a major bank, the Second Bank of the United States.