A Correction, and What We Can Learn From the Bullock Family
It has come to my attention that the full name of the accused murderer of Father Eric Freed is in fact, Gary Lee Bullock, not Lee Bullock, as I reported last week. My apologies to all lygsbtd readers, and to Mr. Gary Lee Bullock for the misinformation, and I regret the error.
I’m sure that this is a difficult time for the whole Bullock family. I certainly don’t wish to minimize the overwhelming grief that so many must feel for the loss of Father Freed, but for the Bullocks, I’m sure this is also a time of heart-wrenching agony and soul-searching. I’m sure they are wondering, “How could it have come to this?” and “Where did we go wrong?” No one wants to go through that, and if we can learn anything from this tragedy that prevents another family from suffering the same fate, then perhaps some good can come from this horrible tragedy.
One thing that years of reading newspapers has taught me: If you don’t want to see your kid’s mugshot in the paper as the chief suspect in an horrible crime, don’t give your kid the middle name of “Lee”. Damn near every murderer, drunk driver, domestic abuser, drug dealer, bank robber, rapist, you name it, whose mugshot I’ve ever seen in any American newspaper, has had the middle name of “Lee”. I think there is a valuable lesson here, especially for any expectant, or aspiring parents out there. Whatever you decide to name your kid, don’t stick “Lee” in the middle of it. Better still, just leave “Lee” out of the equation all together.
If you name you your kid “Lee” you can forget about saving for college. Instead, you’ll need that money for lawyers and bail. “Lee” is such a common name among felons that the default name on all computerized police reports comes up as Lee Lee Lee, before the officer hits a key. Using this default name in the computerized crime report forms has saved taxpayers millions of dollars. Cops are such notoriously poor typists that saving them three keystrokes on almost every report adds up to tens of thousands of man-hours each year saved in police budgets across the country.
I know it rolls off the tongue nicely, and lends a certain poetry to, without distracting from, the first and last names, but it’s just not worth it. No matter how hard it it is to say or how distracting it may seem, any other middle name that you can think of is bound to be better than “Lee” for the effect it will have on your child’s future. Bartholomew, Zachariah, Toadsbottom, and Bloodyboogger would all make better middle-names than “Lee”, and if the Bullocks had known this, I guarantee that Gary, Bloodybooger, Bullock would not be sitting in jail right now.
Face it, there’s only a few times in life when most people use their middle names anyway:
Early in life, when a mother is scolding her child as in “Studebaker Lee Hawk, how many times have I told you to stay out of Momma’s Prozac?”
When you get your drivers license, which is just a preemptive mugshot anyway. When a cop pulls you over and asks to see your license, the first thing he looks at is that middle name. As soon as they see the letters LEE in the middle of your name, they smell blood. Cops always know they can find some reason to arrest anyone, but when they get their hands on a “Lee” they know they’ve found their man. They know the paperwork will be a breeze. They just have to figure out what to charge them with, and there’s always “resisting arrest”.
Finally, the last place you’ll see someone’s middle name is on their headstone after they die. Stone-cutters love the middle name “Lee”. It’s almost as easy as a middle initial, but they can charge more money for a full middle name.
So, as a parent the choice is yours. You can name your kid “Lee”, for convenient scolding, ease of arrest, and profitable burial, or you can give your kid any other middle name, and give them a fighting chance for a decent life.
This seems like a no-brainer to me, but apparently too many parents have not gotten the message. Just last week, Shena Lee Christianson was pulled over for running a stop sign, and ended up booked on felony drug charges. If her parents had read this piece, they might have named her Shena Daphne Christianson, or Shena Priscilla Christianson or even Shena Shena Christianson, and as a result, she’d have probably gotten off with just a ticket and a talking too. Instead, she’ll probably spend the next few years taking airline reservations for 18 cents an hour.
So please, share this with every young couple or woman of child-bearing age that you know. It’s time to bring the suffering that these three innocent looking letters have caused, to an end. Hopefully, the Bullocks, and the Christiansons, can be the last to carry this awful burden, but why did people start naming their kids “Lee” in the first place?
I think we can trace the whole “Lee” phenomena back to the Civil War, and General Robert E. Lee, the commander of the Confederate Army.
It seems fitting that we can trace all of the suffering the name “Lee” has caused, back to one of the darkest, bloodiest periods in American history, a time when brother fought brother with cannons and bayonets,
a time that reeked of death, dysentery, and gangrene, a time when the rivers ran red with blood.
General Robert E. Lee led millions of men to their bloody agonizing deaths to defend the rights of white slave owners to whip their slaves, or pay other white men to do it for them. They like to say they fought for “a way of life”, but it was a way of life that required millions of slaves to maintain; slaves who were kidnapped, shackled and sold as property, without regard for family connection, and forced to work long hours in the hot sun, motivated not by pay, but by the threat of the whipping post.
Lee fought for a “way of life” that said a white man could beat, rape and kill a black woman legally, if he “owned” her, but a black man could expect to be lynched if he dared to ask a white woman for a date. That’s a hell of a way of life! That way of life, that so many fought and died to preserve, gave us two of the most devicive, ugly, abhorrent stains on the fabric of American society:
Our ingrained racism
The middle-name “Lee”
Do you really want to remind everyone, especially your own child, of the screams and moans of men in excruciating agony, soaking in sweat, blood and excrement, delirious with fever from infected amputation wounds, best by flies, mosquitoes and maggots as they lay down their lives in defense of slavery and racism? Is that really what you want people to think about when they think about your kid? Is that what you want your kid to think about, every time he sees his own name?
Those three little letters open up a big wound, a wound big enough to swallow your child whole, with enough pain and suffering to curse your entire family for generations, as the Bullocks can no doubt attest. When you consider all that the name “Lee” implies, it’s no wonder that kids named “Lee” get into so much trouble, and it’s really about time we learn from our mistakes.
I mean, I can imagine that there were a lot of German people who weren’t thrilled with the outcome of World War II, but I’ll bet there aren’t many German guys out there with the name Hans Hitler Schmidt. I’ll bet that the popularity of the name Adolf declined precipitously after World War II, and has probably never recovered it’s prewar prevalence.
I mean no disrespect to anyone bearing the name “Lee”, and I completely sympathize with the burden they carry. At one time “Lee” was a perfectly good name, but today, it just has too many bad associations. Similarly, the swastika was once a perfectly good symbol, and you can find them by the thousands in mosaic tile designs in grand old buildings built before World War II. Today, no one in the Western World can look at a swastika without thinking about the Holocaust, so we let it go. Nobody uses swastikas in tile designs, logos, graphics or any other art-form for that matter unless they wanted to conjure images of institutionalized racism, antisemitism, systematic genocide, and mechanized murder.
Naming your kid “Lee” is like putting a swastika, or at least a confederate flag, in the middle of their name.
That is bound to have consequences that last a lifetime. So please, let it go. Unless you are Chinese, just forget about “Lee” as a name altogether. Save yourself the agony the Bullock family must feel every minute of every day right now. Don’t condemn your child to a future of embarrassing mug-shots and unflattering orange jumpsuits. Instead, pick a better middle-name than “Lee”.