Saturday, March 28, 2015

Burning Man: Inclusion & Equality

It has never been easy for people who choose to migrate. It is a new environment that they would have to get use to and try to assimilate into the community. It is often hard when the places you go speak a different language than you. For example, when Chinese and Puerto Ricans initially came to the United States. Those who migrated were mostly laborers of low-income family, coming to American hoping for a brighter future. The first wave of Chinese immigrants came to the United State working as cheap labor; what attract them to come here was because of the gold rush in California at the time. There were also merchants that would come to do trades but those are limited in number compare to the workers that came. Because Chinese workers lack the language skills, they had to result in doing hard working jobs such as mining and railroad building.
            Puerto Rican, on the other hand, even though they were U.S. citizens, there are still many people who didn’t know English; their home language was and still is Spanish due to being colonized by Spain before United States took over and made them a commonwealth. People of affluent families did not face the hardship of language barrier but those, which is made up of a large portion of the migrating population, face discrimination because they were “U.S. citizens” with no knowledge of English, American’s main language. It is essential to be accepted into the community; when one is being treated differently than others, it is often hard to integrate into the community.
Another factor that created barriers for these two minority groups is that they were willing to offer cheap labor, resulting in job loss or limited jobs for Americans. They both had to face many difficulties in the past and still are today. Employers love them for their source of cheap labor but people of the working class hate them because of it. Even with Chinese being labeled as “model minority,” they are constantly being judged and made fun of. As for Puerto Ricans, they may have had the easiest route in obtaining citizenships but it is also due to this that they are being discriminated by not only the whites but also other ethnic groups.
            Discrimination narrated above is thought infrequent in today’s society but it still occurs no matter how much we wish it didn’t. An event that is highlighted as nondiscriminatory and accepting of everyone is the Burning Man.

“A unique and distinctive culture emerges from the Burning Man experience. Rooted in the values expressed by the Ten Principles, this culture is manifested around the globe through art, communal effort, and innumerable individual acts of self-expression. To many, it is a way of life.” (Burning Man Website)

·      Radical Inclusion: Anyone may be a part of Burning Man. We welcome and respect the stranger. No prerequisites exist for participation in our community.
·      Gifting: Burning Man is devoted to acts of gift-giving. The value of a gift is unconditional. Gifting does not contemplate a return or an exchange for something of equal value.
·      Decommodification: In order to preserve the spirit of gifting, our community seeks to create social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising. We stand ready to protect our culture from such exploitation. We resist the substitution of consumption for participatory experience.
·      Radical Self-reliance: Burning Man encourages the individual to discover, exercise, and rely on his or her inner resources.
·      Radical Self-expression: Radical self-expression arises from the unique gifts of the individual. No one other than the individual or a collaborating group can determine its content. It is offered as a gift to others. In this spirit, the giver should respect the rights and liberties of the recipient.
·      Communal Effort: Our community values creative cooperation and collaboration. We strive to produce, promote, and protect social networks, public spaces, works of art, and methods of communication that support such interaction.
·      Civic Responsibility: We value civil society. Community members who organize events should assume responsibility for public welfare and endeavor to communicate civic responsibilities to participants. They must also assume responsibility for conducting events in accordance with local, state, and federal laws.
·      Leaving No Trace: Our community respects the environment. We are committed to leaving no physical trace of our activities wherever we gather. We clean up after ourselves and endeavor, whenever possible, to leave such places in a better state than when we found them.
·      Participation: Our community is committed to a radically participatory ethic. We believe that transformative change, whether in the individual or in society, can occur only through the medium of deeply personal participation. We achieve being through doing. Everyone is invited to work. Everyone is invited to play. We make the world real through actions that open the heart.
·      Immediacy: Immediate experience is, in many ways, the most important touchstone of value in our culture. We seek to overcome barriers that stand between us and a recognition of our innerselves, the reality of those around us, participation in society, and contact with a natural world exceeding human powers. No idea can substitute for this experience.

A few of the ten principles are based on inclusion of others, no matter race or ethnicity. If everyone in the event indeed does follow the principles then why they don’t incorporate it into their everyday interactions? Events such as the Burning Man provide many with the chance to experience fairness and be nonjudgmental but not everyone can afford to go but I do hope that those who go can not only employ the principles there but also engage in interactions with these principles in mind when they come back to reality, the society.

No comments:

Post a Comment