Descendant of Harriet Tubman Slams Trump Admin for Deep-Sixing $20 Bill Tribute: ‘Smacks of Racism’


Ernestine Wyatt, a descendent of Harriet Tubman, slammed the Trump administration over its cancellation of a planned 2020 release of a $20 bill featuring the civil rights icon, and said that the decision “smacks of racism.”

On Thursday afternoon’s edition of CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin, host Brooke Baldwin asked Ms. Wyatt — who is Harriet Tubman’s great-great-great-great niece — to comment on Trump Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin‘s abrupt announcement that there would be no $20 bill honoring her ancestor during the Trump presidency.

“Do you think Secretary Mnuchin’s explanation for this delay, waiting until 2028 now, do you think that is legit?” Baldwin asked Wyatt.

“No,” Wyatt replied. “I think it’s, to me it smacks of racist rhetoric. That’s what it smacks of.”

“Tell me why,” Baldwin said.

“I think it’s just a nice way of trying to say we don’t want this, we’re not going to have this, under any circumstances will we have this,” Wyatt said. “It’s just another delay and a diversion for what’s going on.”

Wyatt went on to say that Mnuchin has “had time for this to happen. In the very beginning, he said that that was not his priority. So now, it comes out now when all the other things that are happening right now, and I’m wondering why is that happening right now at this time?”

“So I just think it is a diversion,” she said, and that “it smacks of racism.

Wyatt praised Obama-era Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, whom she said “prioritized” the Tubman bill, and expressed skepticism at the current administration’s excuses for the change in plans.

“I know, I know, you’re not buying it, I hear you, I hear you,” Baldwin said.

Mnuchin made the announcement at a congressional hearing on Wednesday when Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) dragged the information out of him over the course of several minutes.

Watch the clip above, via CNN.

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