Should Influencers Be Responsible For Educating Their Audiences?

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

You remember how there was a big controversy about whether or not athletes and celebrities should be considered role models? Guess what? WE are the role models now.

Influencers (should) have a heightened, more educated ability to take important information and make it so that our audiences are informed.

We understand how the media works. We are better communicators. We are skilled at using technology and tools like the internet to figure out how to make things plain.

I will not, do not, accept anything less from influencers who use the internet to earn an income.

You are smart enough to build a platform, you can figure out what to say when the country is burning.

You know how to find someone to create your new logo, or who to pitch to get Disney tickets, you can figure out how to incorporate a message of solidarity into your content.

We are at the point that, if we want this country, heck if we want our INDUSTRY to survive, it’s not enough for influencers to be “allies”. We need folks to be advocates.

THE REAL REASON THAT YOU DON’T KNOW WHERE TO START

I don’t have a soft way to say this, but the reason so many of you aren’t sure of where to start is because you’re not educated.
You don’t read any books about the history of our country, or the plight of Black folks, so you’re trying to piece together a stand on your platform and you don’t have enough knowledge.

The tweets, Instagram posts, and Facebook statuses you’re reading from Black folks you happen to follow on the internet is not enough.

It’s really no wonder you don’t know what to say.

It’s like if you were an actor and your performance sucks because you didn’t rehearse your lines, or learn about your character, or figure out how your character fit into the overall story.

Do your homework.

Stop saying you don’t know Black women to amplify.

Google. Ask around. Find the women.

Just because you’re interested now doesn’t mean we haven’t been writing this whole time.

Stop saying you don’t know what to say.

You make toilet paper sound magical. People buy dresses and doilies and frozen pizza because of the way you describe them.

Y’all know what to say, you’re just trying to find a way to say it that doesn’t make you feel uncomfortable or cause you any trouble.

CONSIDER THIS:

You don’t have to come out of character in order to address issues that affect our country.

You can be peaceful and still talk about what’s going on. You don’t have to curse, or use exclamation points to assert your position and / or share information with your audience.

Start getting uncomfortable.

Please stop writing posts about teaching kids to be good people. Kids are inherently good. It’s their racist¬† parents who love your potato salad recipe that you need to be creating content for.

Honestly, writing about teaching kids about racism is easy. Most Black parenting bloggers have a post about it on their sites already. It’s safe.

You do it because (see above) you haven’t done your homework and elementary level “Dr. King was a great man who believed in non-violence” is as deep as you can go comfortably without having to do your own research.

As influencers, we have the responsibility to be savvier than our audience when it comes to the media. We have to do more.

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