opinion | Juliette Kayyem
The ‘Joplin effect’
The best of democracy and the best of community helped heal the city
On the first anniversary of the devastating tornado that touched ground here, the nation focused on this small city of 50,000 and its stories of resiliency and resourcefulness. Joplin is a folk tale of middle American community values and strong religious sentiment. It’s Little House on the Prairie, in the eyes of cable news. But there is something condescending about that portrayal, as if Joplin’s comeback were an inevitable consequence of good people just being good.