Raven-Symone Says Harriet Tubman Shouldn’t Be on the 20 Dollar Bill
Great news for fans of equal representation! There's a campaign to get an American woman on the face of a paper bill — since women constitute roughly half of this country's population, and many of them have made important contributions to society — and it just reached an important milestone. Are you excited? Well calm down, because the women of The View are here to leach your joy with a pointless debate.
According to the Women on 20s organization's website, "Over a period of 10 weeks, more than 600,000 people cast votes and Harriet Tubman emerged as the winner." Now the group has petitioned President Obama to "instruct Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew to use his authority to make this change in time to have a new bill in circulation before the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in 2020." Harriet Tubman's actions as an abolitionist have had a hugely positive impact on our social history, so this all makes sense us.
It makes less sense to Raven-Symone. The View guest host voiced her issues with the poll winner on Wednesday (May 13), saying, "No offense to everyone who's going to be mad at me for saying this: I don't like that idea." The That's So Raven alum tried to clarify her remarks with, "I think we need to move a little bit more forward."
Perhaps already sensing she'd come under fire for her hot take, Raven tried to dig herself out: "Let me just preface [by saying], I understand the history. I get it, trust me. I was taught, I'm in that culture. But there's also Wilma Mankiller, there's also Rosa Parks, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Harriet Tubman." The women Raven name-checks were also candidates in the poll.
After saying she would prefer Rosa Parks, or "someone that is closer to the progression that we're doing now," Raven went on a somewhat hard-to-follow tangent on history repeating itself, before closing with the always well-received "no offense!" The women of the roundtable manage to agree that *A* human woman should definitely be on paper currency (in addition to their representation via those unreasonably heavy Sacagawea coins that nobody ever uses). Molly Sims seemed to come around to Raven's Rosa Parks argument by the end, and then they lightened the mood with a Whoopi Goldberg-related visual gag. You can watch the entire exchange here.
Here's the thing: Sidestepping the extremely thorny issues regarding which history-making African-American woman is more deserving (they all are deserving), it's kind of a bummer that in 2015 there's still this persistent there-can-be-only-one mentality when it comes to female recognition in America. As misguided as Raven's stand may have been, the debate points to two larger questions: Why don't we have a woman on the $20 already, and will we ever run out of weirdly degrading ways to compare incredible women to each other?