Rhonda Robinson

Obama Calls Brad Paisley- Tell Nashville FEMA is Here!

Posted on May 12 2010 3:00 pm
Rhonda Robinson is part of NewsReal's editorial team. As a columnist, Rhonda has provided readers with thoughtful insight into social, political, and parenting issues since 1995.
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And we thought the president didn’t care about Nashville and the Middle Tennessee flood! That he didn’t call. He didn’t care about the people that died sitting in traffic, the people that drowned in their own homes, or the families looking for missing loved ones. He didn’t consider another billion dollars’ worth of damage to merit his time.

Well, it looks like we were all wrong. He called Brad Paisley. The president wanted us to know, that is was important to understand FEMA is here.

That’s how it should be. The people, churches, and charities working together in a community, showing this administration the American way, with the presence of the government as audible as an AT&T cellphone call.

CNN’s Anderson Cooper visited Nashville last week. He acknowledged that the media coverage was sparse at best, and marveled at the outpouring of volunteers and community support. In his interview with country singer Brad Paisley, he finds out the president did have a message for Tennessee after all.


“… There’s going to be need here for a long time to come, and these folks don’t have insurance.”


“There is and actually today, I got a call from President Obama, who called to say that…”


“He called you?”


“He called me. We played there last year, at the White House. The Opryland did a night there for country music and he wanted to see how the Opry was. And he wanted to say that it’s very important to realize that FEMA is here, if you need something…that you, basically, get in touch with them. They’re really ready to help. And also, I think the government…they understand what the heritage is in this town. This has to be the kind of place that we preserve here.”

I won’t discount the fact that some may need the assistance of FEMA, but that should be the last resort.

What Nashville has so aptly demonstrated is that we are recovering, in spite of the major media, and without waiting for someone to tell us what to do. In in the first week of the aftermath, our church alone, has repaired 288 homes,  and raised thousands of dollars for direct relief. Not just for our own members, but for the community. We are far from unique, there are hundreds of churches and charities doing the same.

As the mainstream media begins to wake up and realize that they, once again, missed a story that is relevant and important to mainstream America, I hope they along with the administration learned something.

I hope they learned that the core values of American life, faith, hard work, charity, and building something out of nothing, is alive and well here in the bible-belt.

Those things are worth preserving, but we don’t need government assistance to do it.

Flooded House from Pete Wilson on Vimeo.

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