Influencers not helping our generation find their own way

Blanca Cantu, Opinions Editor

   In the past few years, too many influencers online have been using their fame to make people believe that whatever mistakes they made in the past are justifiable and simply not a big deal. Nowadays, you find many people on social media, and I am not talking about influencers, confidently saying white nationalist things. It makes you wonder why this person of a very young and more accepting generation feels comfortable saying it.

    The main cause of this is the overwhelming amount of influencers who have come on social media the past few years and been able to keep a huge fan base despite past mishaps.

   YouTube has become a place where young kids and those of our generation can go and find videos of so-called entertaining gamers who mainly spend their time yelling out slurs or saying highly sexist jokes. It is not just a toxic gaming culture that has caused this, but makeup and comedic entertainers such as Jeffree Star and Shane Dawson, who have pasts centering around issues such as blackface and racial slurs. A quick apology video seems acceptable for most people despite the harmful views or jokes they had previously expressed.

   Of course people can change for the better. However, the sincerity of the influencers’ apologies have to be questioned. They are out there ingraining it into the youths minds that as long as someone says they were “just joking” or they slap a quick apology video on their YouTube page accompanied with some tears, then it’s all good.

   When you put this together with the offensive memes that have been surfacing on social media, it is simply a wonder why so many people in our generation still find it okay to make anti-Semitic, racist or homophobic “jokes.” Though they may truly start off as a joke that is seemingly harmless, the more this type of humor is utilized online and the more influencers make it seem like it’s okay, the younger generations become desensitized to it. I would even argue it pushes some towards white nationalist ways of thinking.

   This type of “humor” only transfers its way into how people speak to others, and in turn only furthers the agendas of many hate groups to spread their views. In order for this to not be such a prevalent issue, people may need to actually start being more careful about those they decide to listen to and follow. People need to stop looking the other way when they see someone “joking around” in a very hateful way. Yes, influencers did help start this, but it is the people outside of the media letting younger generations get away with these types of mindsets.