A Prodigal Son Returns to the Nest of Stingers for Martin Luther King Jr. Day

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I, Carlton Morris Davis Jr, have a White Anglo-Saxton Protestant (WASP) name given to me by my family, who were very proud of their white heritage and where creative naming isn’t in the genes. I got to be a junior (Jr.). Nicknames are given to distinguish the progeny. Biff, and Buffy are common. I, however, am a bit of an anomaly. My mother was an Irish Catholic night club singer. She definitely came from the wrong side of the tracks as the old admonition identified those of lower status. Lynn Quinn married Carlton senior, who was a stud. They had a rocky marriage that ended in a scandalous divorce. They produced a daughter and a son, Carlton Junior, me. Not cause generational confusion; I was given a nickname: Chinky or Chink, the slightly abbreviated version. I detested this name, which I was given because I had a slightly drooped right eyelid, making me look Chinese. No family members ever mentioned that Chink is a pejorative term for Chinese people. In school I was ridiculed. If other kids found out my nickname, I was branded: Chinky the Chinaman, Stinky Chinky, and Commie Chink. Two results came of this unfortunate name. I came to dislike WASPS, believing I was only half an upper class white. Otherwise I was a Mick, the derogatory term for the Irish. I came to loathe all racism, whether it was against: Coons, Gooks, Kikes, Ragheads, Redskins, Polocks, Wetbacks, or Wops. These labels not heard today very often, but in my youth they were common. Today the racism is more subtle, but just as deadly. My stance was and remains with all the people who came from shithole countries. As I have grown wiser, I had to abandon this negativity. Because there are WASPs I admire: William Sloane Coffin, Robert Lowell, and Walker Evans, to name a few. They stood for principals and ideas that transcending bigotry. Because of that name I received many privileges in a society with a long racist history that made my life easier than any other ethnic tribe. I can’t profoundly feel the evil done to an African-Americans, the Chinese, the Mexicans, or Native Americans. I can only empathiise. Because to discriminate, and deny is counter productive. But I can drive out my own hate. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that, “ Martin Luther King Jr. There are great juniors.

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