Friday, March 26, 2010
Now thats' what I call money
A republican congressman from North Carolina has called for the replacement of General Ulysses S. Grant's portrait on the US $50 bill with an image of President Ronald Reagan. I'm horrified in general at how Ronald Reagan is treated in popular memory. He was a doddering senile fool, his administration responsible for a sea change in American attitudes toward government that we're still trying to dig our way out of. As far as I'm concerned his support of dictators, of apartheid, of CIA meddling around the world is unforgivable. And his neglect of the AIDS crisis while thousands died was truly criminal.
But I was having hard time in my mind defending Grant's presence on the $50. Sure, he defeated the racist confederacy in the civil war--the real reason this reprobate congressman wants to erase his likeness--but he also presided over the genocide of native Americans in the west.
Which is when I remembered the money from my stay in Nicaragua in the 1980s. On th 10 cordoba note was an image of a stone-throwing revolutionary on the front, and an image of mine workers on the back.
On the fifty cordoba note was an image of the triumph of the revolution in the main plaza of Managua in, and an image of martyred FSLN founder Carlos Fonseca Amador on the front.
On the front of the 1000 cordoba note was an image of Augusto Cesar Sandino, the anti-American revolutionary from the 1930s who was the inspiration for the Sandinista revolution.
So who should be on our money? Here's my modest proposal.
Lincoln can stay on the five. Never forget the civil war and the emancipation. Get rid of that $1 bill, it's not worth anything anyway. On the ten dollar bill let's replace Hamilton with somebody like Rosa Parks. We're gonna need a ten to pay for a bus or subway ride before long so it's fitting. The twenty should go to Sequoyah or Tecumseh, payback for Andrew Jackson. The fifty goes to radical emancipationist John Brown, who would give new meaning to the "In God We Trust" motto. The hundred should go to Martin Luther King: doesn't a bundle of Kings sound better than a bundle of Benjamins? All those bigger bills, well, somebody give me a sample of them and I'll tell you who should go on them.
Anybody got a better proposal? How about for small change?