Camille Dundas in her video tweet said white people shouldn't be surprised the Buffalo mass shooting happened due to ongoing structural racism and inequities. The Toronto-based diversity, equity, and inclusion consultant said,
"The grocery store where the terror attack happened was the only grocery store in walking distance for so many residents. Buffalo black residents are 6 times more likely than white residents to live in a community without a grocery store."
What is structural racism? Structural racism includes all the social, political, and economic systems of our society collectively. Kehinde Andrews, a UK professor of Black Studies at Birmingham City University, says,
“Structural racism refers to the systematic oppression of ethnic minorities that leads the disparities that we see in terms of income, employment, health, etc.”
Jamelle Bouie on structural racism wrote that it's helpful:
"to remind oneself that the challenge of racism is primarily structural and material, not cultural and linguistic, and that a disproportionate focus on the latter can too often obscure the former.
What is institutional racism?
Institutional racism is racism that exists in institutions and is typically political or social. Policies and practices that are implemented consciously or unconsciously result in disadvantages for one racial group. Professor Andrews says,
“Institutional racism refers to how racism is practised through the institutions such as schools, universities, workplaces in ways that maintain structural racism.”
The influencer marketing industry is estimated to grow from $6bn in 2020 to $24.1bn by 2025. But the distribution of wealth is far from equal. The House of Commons digital, culture, media, and sport committee recommended the UK government investigate influencer pay standards. It's part of a larger review of the influencer industry stemming from inconsistent pay rates and evidence of a racial pay gap. While it's possible to have a successful career as an influencer, payment from brands to influencers "varies widely".
This is in line with a study, published in December 2021, called, "Time to Face the Influencer Pay Gap". It found that in the $16.4 billion influencer industry in the US, the pay gap between white influencers, and those who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color, was 29%. Between white and Black influencers, the pay gap was as high as 35%. Moreover, 49% of Black influencers felt their race was part of the reason for low pay while 59% felt that posting about their race negatively impacted them financially. Women influencers earn 30% less than men.
According to the trend forecasting company, WGSN coined "Genuinfluencers" in late 2021. The pandemic resulted in social media influencers shifting from using platforms solely for what they have (product placement) to what they can share (relevant information that informs people). Not surprisingly, shows like Keeping Up With the Kardashians ended. Kim Kardashian was lambasted by many people including KISS frontman, Paul Stanley's tweet after she said in March 2022 that women were unsuccessful because they were lazy and didn't work hard.
The pandemic showed young people that the world shouldn't be viewed through rose-colored glasses. They prefer real people who are not perfect. They're more interested in sharing important and unbiased information, issues and advice, and discussing their passions instead of selling brands or products.