There are certain peculiar events that, when you hear about them, your first reaction is "How did that ever happen?" - but then after a moment's thought, your mind turns to the question of "Strange that it never happened before."
Such an event was last week's news of Democratic President Andrew Jackson being booted off of the $20 bill where he's resided since 1928. He will be replaced by escaped slave Harriet Tubman.
There's no question that Ms. Tubman was a true-blue gun-totin' American heroine. After personally escaping the evils of chattel slavery, nobody would have blamed her if she'd stayed as far away from the Deep South as possible. Instead, she made countless trips South throughout the 1850s, rescuing at least dozens and possibly hundreds of other escapers.
This would have been dangerous for anyone - assisting fugitive slaves was a Federal crime even in the North - but, as an escaped slave herself, the potential punishments had Ms. Tubman ever been caught beggar the imagination, death being among the milder possibilities.
Fortunately, this never happened, and when the Civil War arrived, she was able to turn the tables: not only did she lead even more escaped slaves out directly to Union Army recruiters who put rifles in their hands, but she personally led the Combahee River Raid. This unjustly-forgotten exploit saw Tubman leading three steamboats through a minefield deep into plantation country, collecting and rescuing 750 slaves.
While she suffered from discrimination all her life, she eventually received a modest government pension and died in a nursing home named for her in 1914. Even without being on our money, she's still covered in history books and is a name nearly all Americans recognize.
So why haven't we had her on our currency since, oh, the 1970s or so? Only a member of the KKK could be offended at honoring such a self-sacrificing patriot.
It's not as if we haven't had ladies on our currency before, though admittedly not for a while. Indeed, Harriet Tubman herself probably handled money with Pocahontas or Martha Washington on it. Coins have portrayed ladies much more recently; we've all seen Susan B. Anthony and Sacagawea dollars. They aren't popular, but that's for reasons utterly unrelated to the gender of the occupant; neither John F. Kennedy half-dollars nor Eisenhower dollars were any better liked.
Could it be, as the Left argues, that America just doesn't like black people? Hardly: there is exactly one individual American who has an entire Federal holiday all to himself, and that would be Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The two dead white guys who once had that honor, the Father of his Country George Washington and the Saviour of the Union Abraham Lincoln, long ago lost their individual days to the portmanteau Presidents Day, which supposedly honors everyone from Millard Fillmore to Richard Nixon.
So why now? Why, when we were expecting the new female face of the $20 to be Michelle Obama (hey, the first white First Lady was on currency for a while) or Hillary Clinton, were we rewarded with someone of unimpeachable character who is a sterling example of liberty and patriotism?
Indeed, when was the last time we saw a Democrat removed from anything official and replaced with a Republican, other than by the voters?
We don't know. But we'll take it. Bring on the Harriets, and long may she be honored!
Over the past five years, the editors have been secretly working on a book that summarizes the fundamental viewpoints of Scragged.