When is a “Boyfriend Haul” Like a Slave Market?
The impact of a toxic TikTok trend
I’m going to be talking about enslavement, so if you’re a Black descendant of that experience and this is going to be triggering, feel free to skip it.
A while back, there was a “boyfriend haul” TikTok trend. It basically meant pretending you’d purchased your significant other and listing his attributes as if you’d bought something like a car.
In some circumstances, it might be funny, but forgive me if a meme about purchasing people doesn’t sit right with me, which brings me to the now infamous TikTok video where a white woman was showing off her Black boyfriend as part of the meme.
Now I get it, they were participating in a bit of TikTok fun. And yet it still sticks in my craw that they were both - for he appeared to be a willing participant - so devoid of historical knowledge that it never occurred to them how this could and would be read by people descended from the experience of enslavement.
As my sister Lisa Hurley said on LinkedIn:
“This is why teaching ACTUAL history is important. Because AIN’T NO WAY you could know history and perpetrate this kind of disrespectful mess!”