“Our comment pages are a cesspool of rage, ignorance, racism, sexism, class warfare, and insults of all sorts.”
It was a relief to read this statement in our city’s only remaining representative of journalistic integrity, The Santa Barbara Independent. I cannot count the times that I closed your webpage in dismay, having read an excellent piece, only to be followed by toxic, hateful comments that nearly negated the informational value of the article. Nothing is more depressing.
We in Santa Barbara are fortunate to live in a progressive, forward-thinking, community-minded city. Many of us value the extreme privilege of everyday life in this beautiful place, the freedom to express ourselves and to enjoy life on our own terms. Many of us express gratitude for what we have here.
Where are those values refuted? As reflected in the Indy’s Comments sections, the ugliness of racism, sexism, and other forms of hatred will rise up when given an opportunity, ironically within a forum designed to support the journalistic liberties now threatened by our current administration. Removing the Comments sections is not about the dominance of one politically-inclined group vs. another: It is about ending the abuse of freedom.
Again, thank you for implementing this decision and for making an effort to return us to sane, rational, respectful exchanges with our neighbors.