Grass Roots

Some roots penetrate deeper than others, but they all are tightly connected to one another
Some roots penetrate deeper than others, but they all are tightly connected to one another

An hour ago I tweeted that it was time to go outside and plant some flowers for the bees and for the beauty of my garden. Turns out I spent more than half an hour pulling up grass in order to ready the spot where I want the flowers.

How large a space was that? about a square foot. Yup, grass roots resist being separated from each other and dislodged.

I began to wonder if the term, “grass roots”, which used to be used for tightly bound groups of people has the same kind of meaning today that it had when our food was grown by family farmers and a community knew the farmer who grew their food.

I wonder if today when Monsanto and Agri-corps have supplanted family farms, if there is a place for the term grass roots in our daily lives, the way there used to be, especially in politics: years ago a candidate was said to have “grass roots” support.

To get an idea of the prominence of the term today, I did a google search. The first page of results gave me a couple of Wiki instances, a movie, a yoga studio, and these:

  • Grassroots football in England: abuse, death threats 

    The Guardian –

    Jan 2014
    Andy Hunter: Steve Geoghegan, who offered Rhys Jones a lift home on the night he was shot dead, is only one of 100000 people who have walked away from grassroots football since …
  • How a Grassroots Rebellion Won the Nation’s 

    Mother Jones –

    Apr 2012
    Across the country grassroots activists were defeating plans to build coal-fired power plants, the source of a quarter of America’s greenhouse gas emissions. The movement’s center of …
  • The Nation –

    Oct 2013
    The Grassroots Battle Against Big Oil. Activists in Texas are connecting the fight against the Keystone pipeline with the struggle for environmental justice. Wen Stephenson. October 8 …

That’s reassuring. Happiness!

I had feared that our grassroots connections had been killed by politically motivated religious fervor acting as a “herbicide” to exclude members not adhering to a particular belief system. In large part, this is a tactic used by elites to separate us from other Americans we might support and join together with, which would endanger the power of the elite. A particularly clear description of this is provided in Don Mashak’s, How the Ruling Class Elite Beat the Bell Curve.


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