Trevor Noah ripped the media for its response to Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew’s announcement that Harriet Tubman would replace Andrew Jackson on the front of the $20 bill. Harriet Tubman was a great abolitionist, and “she invented water skiing,” Trevor says, before admitting, “That’s a lie, but some of you doubted for a second. and you see, if you had more than a month of Black History Month, that wouldn’t have happened.”
Trevor is excited about the currency change, because now at restaurants he can say to the host, “Maybe my friend Harriet Tubman can help free up a table, the same way she helped free up those slaves?”
The decision to put Tubman on the bill is important, says Trevor, because “Who a country puts on its money is in some ways a statement of its values. Unfortunately, how people react to that statement is in some ways a reflection of their values.” He then shows clips from Fox News and other media outlets as pundits criticize the decision for pandering to the “PC police.”
One Fox & Friends pundit brought up the 1990 decision to declare a Harriet Tubman Day, implying that should be enough for her, but as Trevor points out, that Harriet Tubman Day was not an annual event. “It was literally one day in 1990.” And you don’t have to be a hero to get one day. “How do I know this?” asks Trevor. “Because I got one day.” February 12, 2016 was Trevor Noah Day in Boston, and, as he points out, he hasn’t freed any slaves.
For more on the issue, Trevor talks to Roy Wood Jr, who is not very excited about the issue, because “every time white people give black people study, you know there’s gonna be a catch.”
To see how everyday people are reacting to the news, Desi Lydic goes out on the street to take a look at (and pocket) some of the old bills.