Burning Man: the most diverse group of white people you will ever meet. – Blu
The official Burning Man blog (which is written by a volunteer) ran an interesting post about the lack of ethnic diversity among Burners. In the post and comments a number of reasons to explain the lack of ethnic minorities were put forward:
- Going to Burning Man requires a cultural sense of physical and economic security that ethnic minorities have only gained in the last generation. Economic security comes not just from personal income, but from multi-generational wealth, networking and a social safety net.
- Minority culture tends to be more sexually conservative.
- Minorities are more family and community focused, while Burning Man is heavily individualistic. Alternately, only white people need to go to Burning Man to find community.
- Minority culture grew from the civil rights movement while white counter culture grew from an individualistic movement.
- Minorities don’t like camping: “the last time [my Japanese family] went camping, it was an internment camp“
- All the cultural appropriation makes them uncomfortable.
- “Being colorful for a week in the desert might not have the same appeal for those who feel like they are outside of the mainstream all the time.“
Although one comment argued that if you control for income and education, there is no ethnic disparity. Given that none of the census reports after 2008 have been made public, it’s difficult to have an informed discussion about this.
I think it requires a level of immersion within the capitalist system that enables one to afford the luxury of attending as well as a degree of personal consumer excess high enough that one looks forward to an escape from that excess. Maybe it also requires a bit of blindness to the waste involved in a celebration that rejects attachment to worldly possessions by burning them to the ground. That said, I already have my tickets, airline reservations and RV reserved. I suspect that people of color attend in proportion to the percentage of them that have achieved this level of hypocrisy. – Paul Williams