By: Daniel John Sobieski
President Trump concluded his Friday night Mount Rushmore speech by announcing the signing of an executive order creating a “National Garden of American Heroes” in which the statues of those anarchists would consign to the ash heap of history would reside to remind future generations of how we became who and what we are, to remind us of the struggle against tyranny and injustice.
Trump righteously stood before the visages of the likes of Thomas Jefferson, the maligned slave-owner who helped create a nation and a process that would end slavery. He stood before the face of Abraham Lincoln, the first president of the Republican Party, the abolitionist party formed to end the Democrats’ claimed ownership of their fellow human beings. Jefferson wrote that all men were created equal and endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights such as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Lincoln, after the Battle of Gettysburg in a Civil War that took the lives of hundreds of thousands of so-called white-privileged Americans, spoke of a new birth of freedom and a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, that he would not allow to perish from the earth.
Trump, who some say may one day belong on Mt. Rushmore instead of just standing in front of it or flying over it, won’t allow it either, nor will we allow the cancel culture to erase the history of our continuous and ongoing struggle towards a more perfect union. So he announced the creation of the National Garden of American Heroes. The executive order reads: “The National Garden should be composed of statues, including statues of John Adams, Susan B. Anthony, Clara Barton, Daniel Boone, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, Henry Clay, Davy Crockett, Frederick Douglass, Amelia Earhart, Benjamin Franklin, Billy Graham, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, Martin Luther King, Jr., Abraham Lincoln, Douglas MacArthur, Dolley Madison, James Madison, Christa McAuliffe, Audie Murphy, George S. Patton, Jr., Ronald Reagan, Jackie Robinson, Betsy Ross, Antonin Scalia, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Harriet Tubman, Booker T. Washington, George Washington, and Orville and Wilbur Wright.”
Trump was especially right in selecting Harriet Tubman, whose life story exposes the lie that America is an irredeemably racist country enslaved by racist Republicans. History, someone once said, is a lie agreed upon, and nowhere is that more self-evident than in accounts of America’s racial history as told by Democrats. Republicans are the party of racism and slavery when the historical record shows just the opposite to be true.
As black economist Thomas Sowell notes, Democrats value black votes but not black voters:
Democrats need black voters to be fearful, angry, resentful, and paranoid. Black votes matter. If Republicans could get 20 percent of black votes, the Democrats would be ruined.
That is what Democrats are terrified of. That can only happen if blacks are denied the truth about their past, present, and future. It is Democrats who owned the slaves, founded the KKK, and wrote the Jim Crow laws. It is Democrats who stood in the schoolhouse door and still do, opposing school choice. It is Democrats who turned on the fire hoses and unleashed the dogs. It was Democrats who blocked the bridge in Selma. A higher percentage of Republicans voted for the Civil Rights Act than Democrats. Trump and a free market economy is no mirage but a portent of things to come that has the Democratic Party running scared.
The Democrats’ historical amnesia omits the fact that it was Senator Robert Byrd, Democrat of West Virginia and former “Grand Kleagle” with the Ku Klux Klan, who holds the distinction of being the only Senator to have opposed the only two black nominees to the Supreme Court, Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas, and led a 52-day filibuster against this legislation.
Sen. Al Gore, the father of the former vice president, voted against the act, as did Sen. J. William Fulbright, to whom Bill Clinton dedicated a memorial, current senior Senator from South Carolina Ernest Hollings, Sen. Richard Russell and, of course, Sen. Strom Thurmond, who was a Democrat at that time. Only six GOP Senators voted against the act, compared with 21 Democrats. The party of Abraham Lincoln and Jeff Sessions beat back the fire hoses and dogs of the party of Robert Byrd, Cory Booker, and Kamala Harris.
“Harriet,” just released in theaters, tells the story of Harriet Tubman, an African-American slave who frees herself and then returns south to retrieve 70 others and bring them to freedom. Oh, yeah, Harriet Tubman was a gun-toting Republican and the people she liberated these slaves from were Democrats.
She was a heroine of the Underground Railroad and plans were being made under President Obama to place Tubman’s image on a new twenty-dollar bill, replacing the current version depicting former slave-owner and President Andrew Jackson. Plans stalled, however, perhaps when someone noticed that Harriet Tubman was a gun-toting Republican who believed that firearms were the best guarantor of freedom and equality ever invented.
Recently, Congressman John Katko, R-New York, has revived the idea of replacing President Andrew Jackson, one of those old white guys, on the $20 bill with Harriet Tubman, an African-American woman who was a heroine in the battle against slavery:
Back in 2016, President Barack Obama’s Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced the proposal to swap former President Andrew Jackson with Harriet Tubman.
Tubman would be the first African-American woman to appear on U.S. currency and the first woman in 100 years. The idea was to honor the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.
The plan has since stalled. President Donald Trump is a fan of Andrew Jackson and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said as far as he’s concerned, Jackson will remain on the $20 bill, but some in Congress think otherwise.
“We don’t have a woman of color, we don’t have any person of color on any U.S. currency,” said Congressman John Katko, R-New York….
Lisa Page, the interim Director of Africana Studies at George Washington University, says the move is not without controversy.
“I think Americans are still ashamed of the legacy of slavery and will continue to be ashamed of slavery,” Page said.
If the bill were to become a reality, according to Page, it would be a fitting tribute to a trailblazer for freedom and a patriotic American heroine.
“She was called Moses for all of her work in abolition,” Page added
Ironically, Charlton Heston, who played Moses on the big screen, was an NRA member famous for holding a musket over his head with the pledge, “From my cold dead, hands.” Gun rights are a keystone of our freedoms and the Founding Fathers knew we needed a Second Amendment to protect the other nine, Harriet Tubman knew that in the battle to end slavery, gun-rights for African Americans would be a key.
This move to put Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill, replacing President Andrew Jackson, replacing the slave-owning founder of the Democratic Party with a gun-toting black Republican may spark a political debate worth having and unearth historical truths worth learning.
Biographer Kate Clifford Larson notes that Harriet Tubman was no stranger to firearms, finding it a way to both protect and reassure slaves she shepherded to freedom in the north, perhaps making her a founder of the “black lives matter” movement:
Harriet Tubman carried a small pistol with her on her rescue missions, mostly for protection from slave catchers, but also to encourage weak-hearted runaways from turning back and risking the safety of the rest of the group. Tubman carried a sharp-shooters rifle during the Civil War.
An image of her carrying her gun is not likely to grace the new $20 bill, nor is any mention of her being a supporter of the anti-slavery Republican Party likely to be a regular part of the mainstream media and liberal Democratic mantra. Harriet Tubman’s image should remind Americans that gun control was a historical method to control and subjugate blacks. UCLA constitutional law professor notes in The Atlantic:
Indisputably, for much of American history, gun-control measures, like many other laws, were used to oppress African Americans. The South had long prohibited blacks, both slave and free, from owning guns. In the North, however, at the end of the Civil War, the Union army allowed soldiers of any color to take home their rifles. Even blacks who hadn’t served could buy guns in the North, amid the glut of firearms produced for the war. President Lincoln had promised a “new birth of freedom,” but many blacks knew that white Southerners were not going to go along easily with such a vision. As one freedman in Louisiana recalled, “I would say to every colored soldier, ‘Bring your gun home.’”
Winkler also notes:
The KKK began as a gun-control organization. Before the Civil War, blacks were never allowed to own guns. During the Civil War, blacks kept guns for the first time – either they served in the Union army and they were allowed to keep their guns, or they buy guns on the open market where for the first time there’s hundreds of thousands of guns flooding the marketplace after the war ends. So they arm up because they know who they’re dealing with in the South. White racists do things like pass laws to disarm them, but that’s not really going to work. So they form these racist posses all over the South to go out at night in large groups to terrorize blacks and take those guns away. If blacks were disarmed, they couldn’t fight back.
One of the key reasons for the 14th Amendment’s guarantee that blacks were equal human beings with equal rights was to protect the gun rights of freed slaves after the Civil War. This reasoning was cited in the 2010 gun rights victory won by Otis McDonald in McDonald vs. Chicago. McDonald, a 76-year-old African-American Army veteran living in a high-crime area of Chicago who felt the Second Amendment gave him the right to protect himself and his family with a gun just as he once protected his country with a gun.
The Supreme Court agreed, with Justice Samuel Alito referencing the 14th Amendment:
Alito wrote: “Evidence from the period immediately following the ratification [in 1868] of the Fourteenth Amendment only confirms that the right to keep and bear arms was considered fundamental. … In sum, it is clear that the Framers and ratifiers of the Fourteenth Amendment counted the right to keep and bear arms among those fundamental rights necessary to our system of ordered liberty.”….
In framing the argument that the intent of the Fourteenth Amendment should incorporate Second Amendment rights, Alito referenced post-Civil War laws that the Fourteenth Amendment intended to eliminate.
“The laws of some states formally prohibited African Americans from possessing firearms,” Alito said. “For example, a Mississippi law provided that ‘no freedman, free negro or mulatto, not in the military service of the United States government, and not licensed so to do by the board of police of his or her county, shall keep or carry firearms of any kind, or any ammunition, dirk or bowie knife.”
Harriet Tubman supported the Republican Party because it opposed slavery. She carried a gun because it protected the liberty and freedom of herself and those she delivered to freedom via the Underground Railroad. Just as Democrats sought to enslave and disarm blacks back then, they now seek to entrap them in high crime urban areas run by liberal Democrats who seek to deny them, and the rest of us, the right to keep and bear arms.
Harriet Tubman’s image may never appear on the $20 bill, but we should all learn and remember the image showing this African-American Republican leading slaves to freedom from slavery under Democrats with a gun in her hand.
* Daniel John Sobieski is a former editorial writer for Investor’s Business Daily and freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Human Events, Reason Magazine, and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.