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Culture Vultures: What is Cultural Genocide

Updated: Jan 23, 2021

BOS hip hop artists like Migos, Kanye West, & Jay-Z have been calling out cultural genocide for awhile now. They just called it "Culture Vultures". In the 2019 Netflix documentary "The Remix: Hip Hop Fashion", the intentional dismantling and appropriation of Black fashion brands is highlighted (i.e. Dapper Dan). In Season 4 of Netflix's "Hip Hop Evolution", episode 4 'Street Dreams' shows law enforcement intersecting with the private music industry to disrupt a million dollar economy created through mixtapes in low income predominantly BOS communities. The vultures had to get their piece, and used police to get it. Mixtapes required no White exec middle man; only a DJ, an artist, and a hustler, all found in our own neighborhoods. Our culture was producing art AND had organized a successful lucrative market. The state quickly shut that down, only so they could control (or at least eat off of) all mediums through which our art is dispersed. This not only takes money out of our community, it takes our power and control away as well. This is how cultural genocide works.

Cultural genocide (CG) is a coordinated process of dismantling and destroying cultural institutions, intercepting social processes, and halting cultural transmission, for a targeted cultural group. The purpose of cultural genocide is not death; it is to dismantle and destroy the bonds that hold a specific group of people together. When people are bonded, they trust each other to unify, organize, and mobilize to achieve a shared goal. When they are unbonded, they lack a shared vision, hindering the desire and ability to unify, organize, or mobilize effectively.

The targeted group is meant to take on the role of slave, indentured servant, low wage worker, underclass citizen, etc. in order to fit the social order and ranking. Each nation has a social order, and in the U.S, that social order is based largely on race and class. The group being targeted for CG is meant to be at the bottom of the social order, being largely criminalized, vilified, ridiculed, abused, mistreated, and stunted. The nation’s various government agencies in conjunction with private actors (i.e. corporations, nonprofits, universities, etc.) are responsible for this long process of destruction.

CG, including assimilation of the members of one culture into another, keeps the body alive, but kills the soul of the group. Culture is not just art, religion, and holidays. Culture is the way we speak, the values we have, the dialect we use, the way we cook, our spirituality, our connection to history, our connection to nature, the way we care for our bodies, our families, and our homes, how we view money and love...CULTURE IS EVERYTHING SOCIAL ABOUT US! So without our own culture, we are empty vessels taking on the cultures of others, for better or for worse.

In the U.S, a place with a distinct and specific culture, their culture is transmitted via every avenue. If BOSes detach from their culture and act as empty vessels to take in the state's culture, they agree to be physical bodies that take on the long, hard, grueling work of the nation. The group loses their political and economic power as they are exploited for labor and resources. The group is individualized, with people taking on different goals, lacking a shared consciousness. Cultural genocide causes social disorganization, as people scramble to meet basic needs.

Culture is a symbol of cohesion and unity. When a group experiences cultural genocide and does not embrace, embody, or feel connected to their culture, it manifests as disunity. This disunity has profound effects. A group that lacks unity and cohesion can not collectively organize and mobilize socially or politically. This a major goal of the state, who does not want any group or culture to prosper that opposes theirs. If we can heal and embrace our cultures as BOSes, we can all prosper! # EverybodyEatsB #BOE #BOS #BOSPower

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