I'm continuing with my exploration of who my fellow snowbirds are, why they're here, and why they're almost all non-Hispanic whites. I've figured out that most of us are from the northern states where it's either cold or wet in the winter - and dark. Our homes are rarely east of Ontario in Canada or Michigan in the States. I think that's because the people more eastern go to Florida, a closer warm destination for them. Though I have met a few people who tried Florida, didn't like the humidity or the bugs, and were willing to drive a little further to Arizona.
The ethnic issue is more complicated, I think. When I ask people their opinion on why almost everyone spending the winter at this resort is white, I get a variety of answers. Here are a few examples:
1. In the 60s, when people in the north started their careers with big companies that provided good salaries and pensions, those companies were hiring mostly whites. This was before the big changes that came from the civil rights movement. People retiring now with pensions or investments have enough money to afford to rent here in the high season or to own spaces year round even though they're only here with their RVs for a few months a year. People living on Social Security or more limited income sources would find this place out of the reach costwise.
2. "Black people probably don't seek out the sun."
3. Some cultures hold family in the center of their consciousness, so the retirees are still extensively involved in the lives of their parents, siblings and children in a community, and don't see a need to get away.
4. "The Pakistanis are busy working and buying businesses. They own an awful lot of property in our city."
5. "I guess this is just what older white people like to do in the winter."
I'm interested in your thoughts on this. Actually, I'm working on an article about the subject. I want to talk to more people in the park, do a little more reading, get some input from fellow bloggers.
I talked to a friend yesterday about this. She said one definition of community is "a shared culture, a shared past." How do you think that might contribute to what I'm observing here?
I hope you'll leave comments to help me with this project.