Rep. Steve King Loses Bid to Block Harriet Tubman's Placement on $20 Bill

Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

U.S. Representative Steve King, a Republican from Iowa, has lost his bid to block Harriet Tubman's placement on the $20 bill.

Earlier this week, King filed an amendment to an appropriations bill that would stop any money from being used to redesign American currency, according to the New York Times. In the process, he also tried to redefine racism and sexism.

"It's not about Harriet Tubman, it's about keeping the picture on the $20," King said in an interview with Politico. "Y'know? Why would you want to change that? I am a conservative, I like to keep what we have."

King continued that it would be racist and sexist to put Tubman on American currency. 

"Here's what's really happening," he said. "This is liberal activism on the part of the president that's trying to identify people by categories, and he's divided us on the lines of groups. ... This is a divisive proposal on the part of the president, and mine's unifying. It says just don't change anything."

The U.S. Treasury Department announced in April that Tubman, the escaped slave and abolitionist who led people in bondage to freedom, would replace former President Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill. Plenty of people saw the move as a huge step forward for the country, but others piled on with their racist and sexist comments.

The irony of King's position didn't go unnoticed:

In fact, he's lobbed his own epithets. In 2013, he said that the children of undocumented immigrants were destined to become drug mules with "calves the size of cantaloupes."

Funny how he's suddenly sensitive to allegations of racism and sexism now that they suit his political agenda. 

Read more:
•Harriet Tubman Will Be on the $20 Bill — And Racist and Sexist Trolls Reacted as Expected
•Twitter Had All the Best Reactions to U.S. Treasury Putting Harriet Tubman on $20 Bill
•Harriet Tubman Will Be Sharing the $20 Bill With Andrew Jackson — And That's Problematic

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Jamilah King

Jamilah King is a senior staff writer at Mic. She was previously an editor at Colorlines.

MORE FROM

Will Justice Anthony Kennedy retire at end of Supreme Court term? Here's what we know.

Rumors that the 80-year-old swing justice may leave the bench are fueling fear of a second Trump pick on the nation's high court.

3 states and D.C. allow same flammable building materials behind Grenfell Tower fire

The causes of London's Grenfell Tower are similar to the justifications used to waive fire regulations in the U.S.

New Jersey bill would require kids to be taught how to interact with police

Students from kindergarten through 12th grade would receive the education.

UK Parliament hit with cyberattack

Members of Parliament had difficulty accessing their emails Saturday in the wake of the attack.

Istanbul LGBT pride march banned by government for safety concerns

A right-wing nationalist group has vowed to stop the protest.

Compounds seized by US in December reportedly contained material useful in Russia probe

The Trump administration has reportedly been considering returning the New York and Maryland compounds to Russia.

Will Justice Anthony Kennedy retire at end of Supreme Court term? Here's what we know.

Rumors that the 80-year-old swing justice may leave the bench are fueling fear of a second Trump pick on the nation's high court.

3 states and D.C. allow same flammable building materials behind Grenfell Tower fire

The causes of London's Grenfell Tower are similar to the justifications used to waive fire regulations in the U.S.

New Jersey bill would require kids to be taught how to interact with police

Students from kindergarten through 12th grade would receive the education.

UK Parliament hit with cyberattack

Members of Parliament had difficulty accessing their emails Saturday in the wake of the attack.

Istanbul LGBT pride march banned by government for safety concerns

A right-wing nationalist group has vowed to stop the protest.

Compounds seized by US in December reportedly contained material useful in Russia probe

The Trump administration has reportedly been considering returning the New York and Maryland compounds to Russia.