Why is Burning Man so white?

Share your pictures and video. Tell us about the sights, sounds, and scents, as well as the rumors and truths found at Burning Man.
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WhatsInAName
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Thank you!

Post by WhatsInAName » Thu Aug 26, 2004 8:28 pm

Folks this has been a truly fascinating & intresesting thread. It has lived up to all the expectations that I had in initiating this discussion and then some! Despite, the numerous attempts to degenerate it into trash talk... and even some at slander, trivialities & nonsense...

My intention was to neither to change the flow of the tide nor point out that it was right/wrong, but merely to make us all aware of the way this tide is rising :)

Folks thanks for an invigorating discussion, I hope to run into some of you on the Playa - look for a brown boy ;)

Hugs to all,
WhatsInAName

P.S.
This is not an attempt to close this discussion either - altho I suspect it has lived its life. Cheers!

SED
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Post by SED » Thu Aug 26, 2004 8:34 pm

Hey BJ, unless you're the only black person there, how will I find you?

Being a white guy, I should be easy to find, since we're all over the place.

I might also be wearing a T shirt that says Texas, It's Bigger Than France.
It ain't the hanging, it's the drop.

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Post by Simply Joel » Fri Aug 27, 2004 2:27 am

SED wrote:Hey BJ, unless you're the only black person there, how will I find you?

Being a white guy, I should be easy to find, since we're all over the place.

I might also be wearing a T shirt that says Texas, It's Bigger Than France.
Don't we, white guys, all look alike?

SED
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Post by SED » Fri Aug 27, 2004 8:07 am

Not all of us are good looking as you, Joel. Even with that little chimp soul patch of yours. Don't let anyone give you shit about that, okay?
It ain't the hanging, it's the drop.

blackjohnnie
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Post by blackjohnnie » Fri Aug 27, 2004 11:50 am

Yo SED,

I'll be the only newly shaved headed Mexican there. I'll actually be camping at a satellite camp but I'll be spending most of my time at Prometheatrics, especially setting up the stage, dj equipment, shade structures, blah, blah, blah...

just look for the stocky brown kid. Or catch me at the poetry reading in center camp.

see you all there!

blackjohnnie.

CadyMae
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Post by CadyMae » Fri Aug 27, 2004 1:25 pm

Thanks for the kind responses to my post. Since I'm a virgin burner there will be one more brown face on the playa this year! I'll be the one in the white baseball cap, white t-shirt and crazy pajama bottoms bicycling around with a big smile. I'm with sensei: "Have you guys checked the calender lately? Let's go people!" 3 days until departure for me!!!! I've been packed for 3 months. Whooooooooo-hooooo!

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theCryptofishist
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Post by theCryptofishist » Fri Aug 27, 2004 1:50 pm

CadyMae wrote: I'll be the one in the white baseball cap, white t-shirt and crazy pajama bottoms bicycling around with a big smile.
Dang it CadyMae--it's taken me 3 years to figure out what you seem to know instinktively--Pajama Bottoms are way cool playa wear. I gave away the chinese embriodered dragons that were too small for me, but I still have a pair of white pants with cherries all over that I've been looking to give to a playa virgin! If you want them, show up at Med Camp (3 o'clock plaza) and ask for Chukka. If that doesn't work ask for Scott's wife/fiance or Scott himself in a pinch. In any case--have a great burn!

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WhatsInAName
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Brown Meet?

Post by WhatsInAName » Fri Aug 27, 2004 5:26 pm

CadyMae wrote:Thanks for the kind responses to my post. Since I'm a virgin burner there will be one more brown face on the playa this year! I'll be the one in the white baseball cap, white t-shirt and crazy pajama bottoms bicycling around with a big smile. I'm with sensei: "Have you guys checked the calender lately? Let's go people!" 3 days until departure for me!!!! I've been packed for 3 months. Whooooooooo-hooooo!
It's too late for this year but maybe next year we should have a Brown Meet on the playa?

Carol Banker
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Post by Carol Banker » Mon Sep 13, 2004 1:55 pm

i agree. very litle color other than bronzed white. i noticed it right away.

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ryanicus
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Post by ryanicus » Mon Sep 13, 2004 2:11 pm

During this year's burning man, I only noticed one color, Playa Yellow. Everyone was covered with at least an inch of playa dust, dirt, and grim; and with everyone wearing dust masks and goggles you couldn't even make out what kind of nationality or race a person was.... That's what made it so darned wonderful...
"What matters most is how well you walk through fire..."
- Charles Bukowski

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DVD Burner
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Post by DVD Burner » Mon Sep 13, 2004 2:14 pm

They are supposed to be Playa grey not yellow. :lol:


You do know what playa yellow is?
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mustchange4Xday
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Perhaps it is the dust...

Post by mustchange4Xday » Mon Sep 13, 2004 3:13 pm

I am sure that someone is going to jump down my throat for this, but I have to say that this year I saw the most ever of black and brown folks. I saw exactly 3 (4, I guess, including myself) what is that out of 35,000?

So that being said, I do think that as a brown person who grew up amongst pink people I think that the culture of "alternativism" is a white thing. If you are already an "other" you don't go seeking an alternative community. You are one.

Just a thought... True it doesn't matter, and true we are all white when the playa dust hits us, but its something to think about.

By the way, I have never seen so many Irish people (meaning people from that country who have a distinct accent) at Burning Man. Anyone else notice that?

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Rabbi Dali Rick
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.......Rock The Vote.................

Post by Rabbi Dali Rick » Mon Sep 13, 2004 6:39 pm

Well I must be more traveled cause I saw easy 50 to 75+.

Most of them beautiful young ladies by the way. So I think it's heading in a positive direction. Image


coyly,
the rebbi

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pyrosculptress
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Post by pyrosculptress » Mon Sep 13, 2004 6:49 pm

im Thai/irish my husband is spanish and we had two african american in our camp....hmmmm please be color blind..its all an illusion truly...

Pyrosculptress

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eat drink man woman.....

mustchange4Xday
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Sounds good!

Post by mustchange4Xday » Tue Sep 14, 2004 2:33 pm

Thank you to the Rabbi, and to photosculptress. I guess I need to get out more! Honestly, its great to hear of a better mix of people.

Changing Girl

skagg
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Post by skagg » Tue Sep 14, 2004 9:21 pm

why doesnt someone ask the "people of color" why they dont show up?

DeeeEsss
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Post by DeeeEsss » Thu Sep 16, 2004 11:11 am

So I've heard the Larry Harvey analysis, which is amusingly synonymous with the analyses of many Burners:

"...if there were real coverage of Blacks in America or Mexicans in America, it would be apparent that they have a cultural wealth that the White people don ’t have. So why would you, if you have that; if you have a community so vital it produces a thing like Rap Music, you know... why would you travel thousands of miles to a desert to be with a bunch of White people? ”

I've heard this stuff come from the mouths of more people than just Harvey, though (as in: I was standing right there when someone said it) .

Now, I'ma tell you like this, and you can take issue with it if you WANT to:

Just as my own blakness is a part of my being, so is my freakiness.

I KNOW how imperative it is to retain your sense of self--as blakfolx, it's true that we're HUGE on that. "Remember where you came from, remember the struggle, remember your people." Our historical experience in this country has AMPLIFIED that need to retain the sense of self, the sense of blakness.

HOWEVER! The desire for adventure--the desire to explore those facets of the human experience that lie beyond our peripheral vision (be it psychedelic, communal, "alternative" or whatever)--can capture ANY BEING OF HUMAN ORIGIN. So you're treading on dangerous ground when you draw conclusions about where I'm at. Maybe something like Freaknik would make me feel uncomfortable--maybe not.

You have to understand that the greatest flaw in Harvey's conclusion lies in the assumption that he has made here. It is an unfortunate and monolithic assumption. On the other side of the spectrum, though, it IS seen by many of our folx as a "white hippie thing"--and WHY? Although we know that BM extends an open invitation to all, what informs that conclusion? Think that over.

Staying on topic, though--I attend BM and involve myself in BM in order to flex the muscles that I'VE developed as an artist, as a musician and as a seeker of humanity. If I choose to limit myself to the rituals that (unfortunately) Harvey and many white Burners feel I only wish to exist in, I am operating against my own nature as an individual--an individual with the freedom to choose. I sought out BM and I chose it--I have to take a break from it every now-and-again, but it's still a part of my life.

Being blak doesn't bar us from being human. The only prison that anyone can freely place themselves in is the one that exempts them from the right to seek communion anywhere they choose. It doesn't mean you're without a base or without a home--at the same time, it doesn't mean that your home's not good enough for you--at the same time, it doesn't mean that you're not happy in your home.

Do y'all follow that?

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Rabbi Dali Rick
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............Keep on Pushing.................................

Post by Rabbi Dali Rick » Thu Sep 16, 2004 12:07 pm

:roll: Yeah what she said.....


repeatedly,
the rebbi

milenko
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Post by milenko » Thu Sep 16, 2004 9:01 pm

$$$$$$$$$

Anthony Bondi
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Eighty Homies

Post by Anthony Bondi » Sun Sep 19, 2004 12:03 am

Does it count that my playa piece included eighty or so Homie figurines with wings attached, making them approximately Homie angels?

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StonedHeart-BleedingBrain
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Post by StonedHeart-BleedingBrain » Tue Sep 21, 2004 9:56 am

Are you Experienced? Who are you? I really want to know. Don't give of fuck of what anyone looks like, when they're down. I think it just has to do with people using the benjamins different, oh and the fact that everyone thinks about stuff far to much, don't think just do, and this wouldn't even be an issue. I believe burners are their own race for that long span in the dessert. Burners are my type of people, and that's my matter of opinion. I have never had any time to think of such a thing in Black Rock City, for I am to busy having fun in the playa sun.
"I can see what's haunting me, sleeping shadows of the dark, sin sin witb no remark, sin sin with no remark."- 47PhantomHymns

lurker
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Post by lurker » Tue Sep 21, 2004 11:00 am

Why is Burning Man so white?

Why not?

Why is there such a tone that says non-white burners will make it more legitimate somehow? Is the burn somehow less if (enough)non-whites aren't enjoying it too?

Do people lament the lack of white faces at the Freaknik? Of straights at Pride?

Please.

Why should we care that BM isn't universally enticing? The non-white people that come, come. They're burners, just like everybody else. There will be more, or less depending on the choices people make. Don't twist your head into knots trying to figure out why some people don't come. Revel in those that do.
"Life is like a box of razor blades. Sharp, shiny, and good for removing unwanted body hair"

skypilot
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Post by skypilot » Tue Sep 21, 2004 9:24 pm

WHY IS HARLEM SO BLACK?? for some reason this dumb-ass thread keeps making it to the e-playa. Jeez..save your silly-ass white guilt and ply it to the fools in the potrero district-maybe they'll listen.

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Blah, Blah, Blah...

Post by Starjack » Sat Feb 18, 2006 5:35 pm

I'm all for diversity, but jeeze....all the yakkity-yak among a closed group aint' gonna do anything about it. You want more more people of color at the Burn, that's cool. Invite the friends you want to see there. Tell your black and brown and red and yellow friends how fabulous it is and why they'd have a great time. (Just make sure you're inviting them because of their individual capacity to make it a great time, and not as some affirmative action project!)

Ultimately it's all in the outreach. Who gets invited, and how do we make it appealing to them? It there's people you want to see out there, it's your job to get them out there!

Generalizations about families and cultures don't wash. There are artists, partiers, outlaws and indivudualists in every group, and yeah, there are families that go to the Burn, too. I know a mixed white-Filipino family that goes every year.

Stop talking the walk in this echo chamber and go talk to the folks you want to see at the Burn!

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Bob
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Post by Bob » Sat Feb 18, 2006 10:31 pm

My life is purely anecdotal, too.
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

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theCryptofishist
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Post by theCryptofishist » Tue Feb 21, 2006 9:57 am

My question:

Why is this thread so undead.

Stake in the heart time people.
The Lady with a Lamprey

"The powerful are exploiting people, art and ideas, and this leads to us plebes debating how to best ration ice.
Man, no wonder they always win....." Lonesomebri

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DVD Burner
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Post by DVD Burner » Tue Feb 21, 2006 10:17 am

theCryptofishist wrote:My question:

Why is this thread so undead.

Stake in the heart time people.
Maybe subconsciously there is something to this. After all I was told not to long ago on this board that “I blame the man” for what happens to me on this board.

( Man did I think that was an Incredibly stupid statement.)

If I though burningman was that white I would have not gone several times and not thought of going again.


(Nothing personal of course.)
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Isotopia
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Post by Isotopia » Tue Feb 21, 2006 12:38 pm

Why is Burning Man so dusty?

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Isotopia
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Post by Isotopia » Tue Feb 21, 2006 12:38 pm

Why are the Port-o-toilets blue?

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Isotopia
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Post by Isotopia » Tue Feb 21, 2006 12:39 pm

Why do all of the BLM rangers have short hair?

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