What happened to the Grassroots movements of days gone by?
A grassroots movement traditionally occurred at a local level, or a community level, where volunteers would freely give their time and finances to support the identified need. According to Wikipedia, the term “grassroots” was first used in the United States. It was “thought to have been coined by Senator Albert Jeremiah Beveridge of Indiana, who said of the Progressive Party in 1912, “This party has come from the grass roots. It has grown from the soil of people’s hard necessities.”
While not necessarily used to reference politics, the term embraces the very nature of community coming together for it’s own good; building from the ground up. Even a quick Google search will reveal a realm of movements aiming for political change.
As I continued to look at the various factors surrounding Bryten Brown’s death, there was a rapid communal response for change to the school board. It began as parents rallying a battle cry for change; a true grassroots movement was beginning. Then something happened. As the days passed, the community’s passion waned. The voices were hushed as a new issues take to the forefront and the vocal opponents to the board have settled down.
So what happened to the grassroots movement? Maybe there wasn’t really a grassroots movement at all, but rather a purely emotional response to an absolute tragedy. If it was a movement, it has been eclipsed by the “community leaders” now making up the Director’s Community Task Force. That should be a further cause for our concern. The original supporters have given up on their ownership of a vital and noble task of bringing change to a system that desperately lacks humanity.
Much like religion and faith, grassroots movements can lose their excitement and freshness. We need to remember that just because the “feeling” isn’t there anymore, it doesn’t change the truth of the matter. The intrinsic need to move forward must be heard and acted on. Please, don’t give up.
Everyone has a story, even when, just sometimes, we don’t feel like telling it.