Talking Shop On Rug Beatin’ Day

Russell Lee, Bureau of Mines
Russell Lee, Bureau of Mines

You may have seen some of Russell Lee‘s fantastic images before. This is one of my favorites. Lee passed away in 1986 here in Austin, Texas, and this year, the former Lee Elementary was renamed Russell Lee Elementary in honor of the photographer, replacing the original namesake, Robert E Lee. I don’t have to ask why they are phasing out anything named in honor of Confederate generals; I imagine it is all part of the collective disappearance of anything related to the politically-incorrect South. I understand that folks don’t like what the Confederacy stood for (including the flag); but that doesn’t mean all of its soldiers should be erased from history. I guess the offensive ideology of The Antebellum South (which can’t be boiled down to just one issue) trumps honoring any of their leaders’ military strengths. In any event, I’m not in charge, and Texas isn’t even part of The South. I got no dog in this hunt; I just love chunky-faced kiddos, and the mutual expression those two boys are sharing.

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5 comments

  1. Nothing against Russell Lee, he does an excellent job of capturing Americana in this photograph, but I don’t believe trying to erase Robert E. Lee or any other part of history [which makes us who we are], will solve the problem. We need to stand together not sit on the sidelines or kneel in submission.

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