Is this a loss of professional composure?
"We feel like the process has been pretty good," said Brian Williams, president of Hands On Nashville. "Obviously, when there is a disaster of this scale, you're not going to make everyone whole immediately."Let's hope that Mr. Williams was quoted out of context, because this is a ridiculous statement that represents a personal attack on North Nashville communities that sat back and watched while efforts focused on wealthier, whiter communities before they got some. It also reflects a callous indifference to the historic neglect that North Nashville faced while Metro resources streamed to points west.
Of course, no one in their right mind expects a small non-profit saddled by the Mayor's Office with the Herculean task of responding to relieve county-wide suffering in the wake of a 1,000 year flood event to "make everyone whole immediately." That was not even the criticism lodged. What some of us do expect is that Hands on Nashville put boots on the ground as quickly in North Nashville neighborhoods as the did elsewhere. Maybe that means less attention in more westward affluent neighborhoods during peak volunteer times. Or maybe it means earlier proactive efforts to tap into northward community leadership networks instead of coordinating a kick-ass social media campaign that recruits thousands of Twitter followers and Facebook friends for the organization's future.
Either way, Hands on Nashville did not redeem itself by responding defensively to community criticism.
While disaster veteran Red Cross did a little bit better in responding to criticism by saying that it would not be satisfied until it heard from all people saying they feel neglected, its CEO said that he was satisfied with agency response. That comes across a more benign discourtesy. Uneven distribution is still unsatisfactory.