OneUnited Bank, a Black-owned bank, is facing backlash after making Harriet Tubman available on a Visa card. The limited-edition card, which includes an image of the iconic freedom fighter, caught the internet's attention for all the wrong reasons.
For one thing, people, including The Kid Mero are wondering why Tubman is doing the Wakanda salute.
FAM NOT THE WAKANDA SALUTE TOO pic.twitter.com/jeQOM1YfjO— THE KID MERO 🇩🇴 (@THEKIDMERO) February 13, 2020
Is ... is she doing the Wakanda Forever pose?— Beatriz Valenzuela (@BeatrizVNews) February 13, 2020
OneUnited Bank describes itself as America's largest Black-owned bank. But people are wondering if the bank included input from any Black people when making the card.
Do you guys even consider having black people in on these brainstorming sessions?????? pic.twitter.com/ygGKtqnmNl— Vinc from Camden (@VinnDiggs92) February 13, 2020
a...black owned bank made this? pic.twitter.com/CMecQPFU3q— Jean Ghey (@jermesz) February 13, 2020
America’s largest Black owned bank that knows nothing of what she stood for. Incredible.— Life Is Short, Buy The Bag 👜 (@alovelydai) February 13, 2020
Let me guess. A white marketing executive from Beverly Hills came up with the idea of a Harriet Tubman Visa Debit Card doing the Wakanda Forever salute.— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) February 13, 2020
People also found the card ironic.
Yo, @oneunited, you guys done and put Harriet Tubman on a product used to put people in financial bondage. The irony of this is amazing, good work, this is peak wokeness— Tamias ❤️ (@Tamias7) February 14, 2020
The bank has also advocated for Tubman to be on the $20 bill. But people took the opportunity to remind the executives about Tubman's fight against American capitalism.
There’s aren’t enough languages to say “this ain’t it”.— Frederick Joseph (@FredTJoseph) February 13, 2020
Another person wants to know how the bank plans to give back.
even if the image was more...well wasn't this image...but a better rendition of Mrs Tubman, my question: any money going back to organizations or missions that she would have supported? You should not exploit this extraordinary hero's legacy & likeness without giving back. Peace— hanamabay1967 (@hanamabay1967) February 13, 2020
The bank responded to the backlash in a separate tweet.
“Harriet Tubman is the ultimate symbol of love - love that causes you to sacrifice everything, including your own life,” OneUnited said. “The gesture is the sign language symbol for love. It's so important that we love ourselves.”
Harriet Tubman is the ultimate symbol of love - love that causes you to sacrifice everything, including your own life. The gesture is the sign language symbol for love. It's so important that we love ourselves.— OneUnited Bank (@oneunited) February 13, 2020
In addition to establishing her legacy as "conductor" of the the Underground Railroad, Tubman also helped the Union Army during the war and helped impoverished former slaves, according to Biography.