As our society continues to grapple with racism and its effects on people of color, a young Black man named Cameron Welch shared a video of himself listing the rules he must follow in order to survive in America. “Jus some unwritten rules my mom makes me follow as a young Black man,” the video which has now gone viral on TikTok is titled.
The candid and personal video highlights the micro-aggressions that Black men face in the country as they have to police their own behavior in a way that most white people never consider.
Cameron Welch, an 18-Year-Old from Houston, Texas, Shared a List of Rules His Mother Gave Him to Follow Whenever He Leaves His Home.
Cameron Welch shared a video of himself listing the “unwritten rules” his mother gave him at the young age of 11. While many of us were told things like “don’t talk to strangers” or “look both ways before crossing the street,” Welch’s rules are dramatically different but familiar to so many young Black men.
Welch’s list of rules are simple to adhere to but no one should ever have to be so extensively hyper-aware about how they are perceived in public.
“Don’t put your hands in your pockets,” Welch says at the beginning of a video that has been viewed millions of times.
“Don’t put your hoodie on.”
“Don’t be outside without a shirt on,” Welch continues in the video.
“Check in with your people, even if you’re down the street.”
“Don’t be out too late,” Welch said his mother told him.
“Don’t touch anything you’re not buying.”
“Never leave the store without a receipt or a bag, even if it’s just a pack of gum,” the teen says.
“Never make it look like there’s an altercation between you and someone else.”
“Never leave the house without your ID.”
“Don’t drive with a wife-beater on.”
“Don’t drive with a du-rag on.”
“Don’t go out in public with a wife-beater or a du-rag.”
“Don’t ride with the music too loud,” he continues.
“Don’t stare at a Caucasian woman.”
“If a cop stops you randomly and starts questioning you, don’t talk back, just compromise.”
“If you ever get pulled over, put your hands on the dashboard and ask if you can get your license and registration out.”
The comments on the video express anger about all the things young Black man have to take into consideration just to live their lives.
“I’m sorry you and so many others have to go through things like this,” one person wrote. “Society needs change and we must change it.”
“This breaks my heart,” another person added.
“My mom told me this,” one young man wrote in agreement.
“The fact our parents have to tell us this is sad,” wrote another person with a similar lived experience. “We have to do this just to go outside.”
“Saving this video for my future son,” one person shared in a heartbreaking comment.
“His future shouldn’t be like this,” Welch replied.
When we talk about "white privilege," we aren't talking money. Blacks & browns aren't able to just live a normal life. There are unwritten rules we follow to stay safe.— jwh (@p31mission) June 5, 2020
"Black Teen Shares Rules His Mom Makes Him Follow When Leaving The House" – HuffPost https://t.co/0ZBhp6oIRH
“When we talk about ‘white privilege,’ we aren’t talking money,” someone tweeted in response to the video. “Blacks and browns aren’t able to just live a normal life. There are unwritten rules we follow to stay safe.”
In the Huffington Post story about the video, Welch was asked why he created the powerful video. “In this moment in our country, it was necessary for me to use my voice, so I put out the video,” he explained to the outlet. “I wanted people to hear and understand the real truth of a Black man’s daily experience.”
The teen also said he was compelled to make the video following the death of George Floyd who died after a police officer pinned him to the ground by placing his knee on Floyd’s neck. The officer is currently on trial for the man’s death.
“Every Black man has that feeling of, ‘Am I gonna come home today?” Welch says during the TikTok video.
Internalize Welch’s message if you never have had to follow any “unwritten rules.”
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
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