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Recently, the worst flooding since 1927 struck Nashville, Tennessee. Yet, compared to the non-stop attention given to the Times Square car bomber and the Gulf Coast oil spill, the news coverage given this disaster seemed almost an afterthought, bordering on indifference.
While terrorism and oil spills are certainly newsworthy, why was Nashville virtually ignored? There was certainly enough misery, with at least ten dead and over a billion dollars in damage. And it affected everyone, regardless of wealth or race.
Some have speculated it's because – compared to the car bomb and oil spill stories – there were no easily identifiable villains. Others say floods lack the spectacular "show biz" appeal of hurricanes or earthquakes.
But I think it was largely because the people of Nashville didn't go out of their way to make a bad situation worse. Instead of mass looting, there were neighbors helping neighbors. And instead of pointing fingers, public officials and citizens worked together to find solutions.
I think it's great that America stands ready to lend a hand when disaster strikes around the world. But when communities right here at home face the same kind of challenges, they shouldn't be ignored just because they don't make a lot of noise about it.