Failed presidential candidate Dr. Alan Keyes blasted Pat Buchanan for his racist rant excoriating the “Obama administration’s” recent decision to replace Andrew Jackson with Harriet Tubman on the new $20 bills. But that doesn’t mean that Keyes, who, while serving in the Reagan State Department, defended South Africa’s policy of apartheid, thinks that Tubman should be honored with the currency. He thinks that Obama is actively denigrating her with the honor.
According to Keyes, Pat Buchanan is a “purblind wordling” who fails to understand the definition of “great.” In his column, Buchanan had used the rubric of how many words Samuel Eliot Morison had written about a historical personage in order to determine greatness, and by this measure, Jackson’s greatness far exceeded Tubman’s. (Plus, according to Buchanan, his exploits were remembered in song. Buchanan fails to note that “The Battle of New Orleans” was a novelty song.)
But one of the criteria that Buchanan missed, according to Keyes, was that he failed to take into account that Tubman had no access to power; thus her ability to guide slaves to freedom makes her actions many times greater than actions conducted with the power of an army or the state that one might have.
Keyes’ “power” argument would fit well within a “leftist academic” approach to history, which often focuses on the how the common person was able to assert power within a repressive culture, except Keyes then argues that honoring Harriet Tubman is an act of disrespect by the Obama administration for two reasons.
“Tubman, I’d venture to say, couldn’t care less for the esteem Obama’s God-hating administration offers, because it comes from death cultists whose holy of holies is worshipped with the slaughter of lives even more innocent than the lives of the enslaved people she risked her life to liberate,” he writes.
Abortion is a far greater crime than slavery, so a woman who fought so hard to liberate others from slavery would have been a virulent anti-abortionist who would have hated being associated with a pro-choice adminstration.
The argument that abortion is worse than slavery has been made before, so Keyes is adding another layer to his previous arguments. But, Keyes claims new territory when he argues that honoring Tubman with the $20 bill is racist, and an insult to the woman who was known as “Moses” by those who followed her.
According to Keyes: “Obama and the Democrats are also anxious to stop the nation from remembering that Jackson exemplifies their Party’s long commitment to slavery, and the subsequent regime of racist discrimination that perpetuated its abuse of Black Americans.”
Placing Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill is an act of racism by a black president because removing Jackson will stop Americans from remembering that Democrats are historically racist, Keyes thinks.