By Jamal Whiteman
Iowa Rep. Steve King is denying he’s a racist because he wants to block abolitionist Harriet Tubman’s image from being placed on the $20 bill.
“Just because I prefer to see a white face on my money instead of a dark one, doesn’t mean I’m racist,” said King in an interview with WEHW radio. “Anyway, the $20 bill currently features President Andrew Jackson, a fine upstanding American on it. What did Harriet Tubman ever do?”
“It’s not about Harriet Tubman, it’s about keeping the picture on the $20,” said King in a Politico interview. “Y’know? Why would you want to change that? I am a conservative, I like to keep what we have.”
Although King is a fan of Jackson, the seventh president was a controversial figure who harbored racist views and committed acts of genocide against Native Americans. Harriet Tubman was an abolitionist who risked her life several times carrying out secret missions to free slaves. She also was a nurse during the Civil War, an Army scout and activist for women’s voting rights.
King, who is against affirmative action, has made several controversial statements in the past. In a 2009 Politico article he said that white men were being excluded from legislation. He also accused illegal immigrants from Mexico of being drug mules, a view shared by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.