Isla Vista residents and students have never been shy to speak up when it comes to current hot-button issues, and the recent and ongoing tumult in Baltimore, Maryland is no exception. We interviewed a handful of I.V. residents and students to see what they had to say on the matter, and their answers were overwhelmingly in agreement that participants in the Baltimore protests, or what students simply referred to as “rioters and thugs,” should be condemned for their involvement in the destruction of public property.
“The violence against property going on in Baltimore is vile and completely unacceptable,” said third year at UCSB, Kyle Troutman, who was seen tearing a stop sign out of the ground on Trigo Road during the infamous Deltopia riots of last year. “I mean we get a little rowdy here in I.V., but that’s different. It’s just because we’re drunk. There’s no real aggression or malicious agenda behind it like those animals in Baltimore. Just think of the businesses they’re ruining!”
Troutman’s girlfriend Kathleen Brown added, “It’s like, destroying store fronts isn’t going to help your reputation… and honestly cops aren’t all bad. My Uncle Rodney may hit my Aunt Nelly sometimes, but other than that he’s a respectable officer of the public.”
Some students have been moved on a deeper emotional level by the chaos of the protests. “When I think about that CVS in Baltimore going up in flames, I almost want to cry. All those off-brand painkillers and discounted make-up just gone forever. And don’t get me started on those BMW’s and Prius’s whose windshields got smashed,” said Becky Atkins whose cover photo this time one year ago was of her burning couches in a cherry-patterned bikini on Del Playa.
When asked if she thought any of the police brutality or racial tension in Baltimore resonated with the Isla Vista community, Atkins was quick to retort, “We don’t really have racial tension here in I.V. We’re kind of a post-racism community. If anything, Baltimore could honestly learn something from us.”