Sunday, July 3, 2011

Why Is Nashville Overlooked So Often?

Music City USA! Home of Country, Gospel & Bluegrass! Capitol of the State of Tennessee! Health Care Capitol of the United States. Buckle of the Bible Belt! More churches per capita than any other city in America! Home to more denominational headquarters than any other city! The center for the publishing, banking and transportation industries. Home to a large number of colleges and universities, including 2 Ivy League schools. Home of the Tennessee Titans NFL team! All of these ways of describing Nashville and yet Nashville is overlooked in so many ways and so often, it is beyond belief. The use of exclamation marks after each of the descriptors is not overkill: I chose to use them to make the point that we have so many claims to fame.

I read a news item this morning about these websites that offer maps showing criminal activities in neighborhoods and one new service was highly recommended as being the most accurate and detailed, so I decided to check out the Inglewood Village section of Nashville, which is where I live. In the state of Tennessee, Memphis was the only city that was available. Really? The state capitol wasn't available? One of the 3 main entertainment capitols in this country wasn't available?

In May 2010 Nashville suffered what has been called a 500-year flood, yet the national news media barely reported on the devastation that was being endured by so many people in this great metropolis. Nashville is a metropolitan government encompassing the entire Davidson County. We have a total land area comparable to Los Angeles (526 sq miles vs 498 sq miles, giving Nashville a 28 sq mile advantage over L.A.). The population of the Metro area is 1,670,891, making it the 4th largest city in the Southeastern U.S. And yet it is consistently overlooked. Why is that?

Many of the residents of Memphis cry foul when Nashvillians complain about these things; they accuse us of whining and being overly sensitive. We're not overly sensitive, we're incensed! Nashville is the capitol of the state and has more claims to fame than most any other city in the world, yet we are still almost invisible when it comes to recognition and reporting anything on a national level. I know many will think I'm being silly or crying over spilled milk, but it's dismaying to me, and most Nashvillians, when we're overlooked so often. Almost 1¾ million people call this area home, including some of the wealthiest entertainers in the country, whether they're country, gospel, rock, rap or hip-hop, television or film stars. Williamson County, directly to the south of Nashville is one of, if not the wealthiest county in the country.

There are too many reasons Nashville should be included in such things as the Neighborhood Crime Statistics Mapping services and not enough for Metro to be excluded. I'm ready for us to get the recognition we're due, finally!

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