Albert Bender: Andrew Jackson doesn't deserve to be on $20 bill

Andrew Jackson in 1824. Painting attributed to Thomas Sully. Image from U.S. Senate

Cherokee activist Albert Bender explains why an Indian person should replace former president Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill:
From the vantage point of Native Americans in Nashville, we have been besieging the doors of the Hermitage literally for months now, and historically for decades. Other local Native organizations, most notably, the Middle Tennessee Indian Lodge, going as far back as the 1970's, were demonstrating at the Hermitage against the glorified memory of Jackson, this early day American Hitler.

American Indians have born the brunt of opposing Jackson both when he was alive and again today.

Why should only an American Indian replace Jackson on the $20 bill? It would only be the most fitting justice that Jackson should be replaced with a representative of the people he so viciously tried to exterminate.

I would, of course, opt for Wilma Mankiller, the first female chief of the Cherokee Nation in the 20th century. Considering that Jackson was responsible for the deaths of 4,000-8,000 Cherokees and thousands of other Native Americans there should only be Mankiller or another American Indian considered.

Jackson did not kill thousands of women or those of other races. He killed thousands of Indians- men, women, children and elderly. He enslaved Native children at the Hermitage taken as war captives. He massacred thousands beginning with the Creek War in 1813. In fact that War, according to prominent historian, William G. McLoughlin, was "a massacre from beginning to end."

Get the Story:
Albert Bender: An American Indian should replace Jackson on the $20 bill (People's World 6/12)

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