Catonsville 9 Reflection – Suzanne
What do these things mean, that Americans shoot other Americans in the streets, that our country is the greatest exporter of violence in the world? I am not a pessimist, but I feel American priorities must be re-ordered. Something completely different, something very new is going to have to happen in our country. (What can we say of a nation that lets millions of its children go hungry and suffer from malnutrition while it spends billions developing planes that will fly the ocean in three hours instead of six, racing madly to the moon, arming dictatorships and oligarchies around the world?)
I for one am through talking about these problems; I think I have done enough reading, writing, and discussing of articles about how “It’s time to wake up, America.” I’ve got to do something more.
-Br. David Darst
In reflecting on what the actions of the Catonsville Nine mean to me, I am most moved by Br. David’s own words he used to justify his participation. It seems like much hasn’t changed since he wrote these words in 1968. We are still seeing the same injustices in our own communities, as well as around the world. Thinking about this, it is easy to become discouraged and pessimistic about what influence our actions can truly have when faced with many obstacles and barriers on our journey towards creating the world we hope to see.
In Darst’s writings leading up to his participation in the Catonsville Nine action, he expressed his own conflicting feelings of what he was called to do and what impact it would have on the communities he was a member of. He struggled to share with his parents why he felt he must actively participate in the anti-war movement. These conflicting feelings are just as relevant and important to acknowledge as the similarities in social issues we see then and now. I often find myself asking the same questions, having similar tough conversations, and questioning the impact my actions have on my community. Learning more about the person Br. David Darst was and his journey, I find myself more motivated than discouraged to continue the fight that he and so many before and after him are a part of. To celebrate the anniversary of the Catonsville Nine’s courageous step towards justice, I am challenging myself to not only talk about injustice, but to do something more to create the world I hope to see.