May 05, 2012
When debating American politics, I hate appeals to 'what the founding fathers intended.' Every thinking person has already figured out, despite all the hot air and hype about their alleged 'vision' and 'intellect,' that the founding fathers were simply rich white slave-owners who didn't want to pay taxes. There's nothing wrong with (most of) that and I respect them inasmuch as their writings are still relevant today.
However, the documents of the United States which contain our social contract are living documents which have been changed countless times to accommodate our modern ideals. United States history has been shaped by culture and our culture has been shaped by history. Much of this had absolutely nothing to do with 'what our founding fathers intended' but rather with how Americans(once there was such a thing) got along and developed.
So do I really have to look at 'the founding fathers' every time I handle cold hard cash? As Dave Chapelle has said, our money looks like 'Trading cards of Slave-owners.'
Currently, the only non-white person that appears on any of our money is Native-Indian Sacagawea, in the form of dollar coins(Which everyone hates to get in change when they buy a metro-card[Sometimes I think there's some dark cynical forces writing jokes into history.]) Meanwhile there has never been a Black American on the money. I assume that the powers that be suppose that the appearance Abraham Lincoln, who freed the slaves(though not in the same sense as Nat Tuner in Virginia, or John Brown in Kansas) is close enough to plac8 the h8ters/the emancip8ed.
Since our money clearly isn't limited to those who've held office, as seen by the appearance of Benjamin Franklin on the hundred dollar bill, what about Frederick Douglass? Could any American have any principled objection to printing the portrait of the ex-slave and abolitionist Frederick Douglass on the money? How about you, Barrack?
There are many things our founding fathers couldn't have foreseen.
Today, somewhere in the United States, a black man drove an electric automobile to buy a pint of frozen ice cream from a refrigerator in a franchised grocery store. The founding fathers didn't see any of that coming. And if the founding fathers could be willed back into existence to see it, they'd either burn that black man as a witch, or worship him as a god. That's the intellect we're dealing with here.