After months of discussion, the Treasury Department announced on April 20 that Harriet Tubman, who escaped slavery and later helped over 300 others escape as a conductor on the Underground Railroad, would replace President Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill. This of course has created a meltdown among some on the right, who are just incredulous that a president would be taken off of our money, to be replaced by a woman. And when it comes to right-wing freak-outs over nothing, there is no better group to make fun of than the gang at Fox News’s Fox and Friends.
The crew on the curvy couch first lost their minds over the impending change on April 18, when news anchor Heather Nauert claimed that Jackson would be the person to be replaced, instead of Alexander Hamilton, because of the popularity of the Broadway show, “Hamilton.” Or maybe it was actually because Hamilton was the founder of the American banking system and a signer of the Constitution. But you can’t expect Fox viewers to comprehend that. Then on April 21, host Brian Kilmeade brought in conservative black commentator Crystal Wright to blame the whole thing on Democrats.
Kilmeade introduces the segment by mentioning the elusive “some people” referred to so often by Fox. He says some think that removing a president “who has done so much in the founding of our country is an unbelievable sign of disrespect.” Then he turns to Wright.
Wright starts off her rant by saying that “I don’t think we should be changing the face of money because Democrats are offended by history.” She goes on to explain that she thinks Democrats are using money to “pander to their constituents.” She tells Kilmeade, “They don’t care about her [Tubman].”
Kilmeade continues the discussion with a brief sketch of Jackson’s background. Well, selected parts of it anyway. He calls Jackson a “war hero” and mentions that he was one of the founders of the Democratic party. But missing from Kilmeade’s biography of Jackson is his role in the “Trail Of Tears,” where native Americans were forced to move westward off their lands in Southern states, resulting in the deaths of thousands. Also missing was any mention of Jackson’s policy encouraging white settlers to move to Texas, which increased tensions with Mexico and eventually led to a war over the territory.
Kilmeade calls Jackson “a key member of America,” to which Wright responds “he was a founding member of America.” Now who’s offended by history? Andrew Jackson was born in 1767, making him all of nine years old when the Declaration of Independence was written. He was 20 when the first states signed the Constitution in 1787, but he missed that, too. “Founding member of America?” Please.
Wright claims that Treasury Secretary Jack Lew was “forced by liberals” to put a woman on our currency. Because you know, doing something that recognizes the contributions of people who weren’t white males always means that liberals forced you to do it.
Here is how Kilmeade and Wright stoked the latest non-controversy “controversy” on Fox and Friends: