Saturday, August 02, 2008

Dorothy Day's Diary--June 29, 1938

Commitment to changing the systemic factors that keep people down and out is a necessity, if the goal is sustainable, authentic progress. Dorothy Day's diary reflects her determination to work for change. These words were entered in summer 1938. The struggle continues.

We had a meeting of the friends of the CW [Catholic Worker] and there were an equal number of colored and white. The colored confessed to giving up when they discovered the new housing appropriations were not going to reach them. A great need for people to unite and work for their poorer fellows. They can be meek for themselves but not for others. St. Thomas says a man cannot lead a good life without a certain amount of goods. It is impossible for people to keep straight, living under such conditions. Whole families crowded in one room, people living in shacks in the open, vice rampant, it is a miracle if children remain uncontaminated. I would suggest the tenants go on a sit-down strike against paying rent, and so call attention to their situation. The first small step is to get water for them.

Housing, interracial justice and cooperation are the three things the friends of the CW in Harrisburg [PA] are interested in. And they have already done much along these lines. Along with this work, they are also talking about a farm to settle about five young men, two married with families, the others working to make marriage possible. With an auxiliary group to help them, with those who are working helping those who are not working, much can be done. Mutual aid, without help or interference from the government. Working along both lines is necessary.

[from The Duty of Delight: The Diaries of Dorothy Day, pages 27-28]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A great selection from the diaries of a great woman! Unlike what some analhysts say, Day believed in more than bandaid solutions.