I Heart Isla Vista

Isla Vistans clean up post-Deltopia 2014.
Joschka Roffe

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” —Mr. Rogers

All of my thanks to everyone who took to the streets armed not with broken bottles but bags and brooms, from the night after the riots through Sunday, and cleaned up the broken glass while inhaling tear-gas-dust debris — and to all those who continue to do so, because there’s always more to be done. To the people who tried to calm the situation, put out fires, keep people off cars, everything: I love y’all, seriously. And to the emergency medical personnel, you who who put your safety at risk to help ensure ours, I’ve not even got enough words to properly express my gratitude. I’m sure plenty of other people feel the same way. I hope you know how appreciated you are.

There’s a thousand posts on the negatives here, so I just want to point out that there were, are, and always will be people who are helping. There will always be the drunk assholes, but there will also always be the people who care about the community, those who want to party responsibly and not cause trouble, or those who don’t want to party at all (which is totally cool, too!). The community isn’t dead; it’s not a festering shithole with no chance of redemption. Please don’t generalize it all or give up your hope. There is still love here, and cooperation, and the spirit of community this town is, or ought to be, known for.

I don’t know what’ll happen to Deltopia in the future or even what I want to have happen to it, but I do know I never want that spirit to die. I just really hope the news, from UCSB’s Daily Nexus to national, reports on this, too, instead of just “BREAKING: UCSB Students Are Drunk and Irresponsible, More at 11.” But maybe it’s not as juicy of a story.


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