Black Teen Shares The Rules His Mom Makes Him Follow When Leaving The House

Brittany Wong

By the age of 11, Cameron Welch had memorized the list of warnings his mom had given to him through the years whenever he was walking out the door: Don’t put your hands in your pockets. Don’t put your hoodie on. Don’t be outside without a shirt on. Check in with your people, even if you’re down the street.

A week ago, the 18-year-old from Houston shared the list in a powerful TikTok video that now has over 10.4 million views. “Jus some unwritten rules my mom makes me follow as a young black man #blacklivesmatter,” Welch wrote in the caption.

@skoodupcam

Jus some unwritten rules my mom makes me follow as a young black man #fyp #blacklivesmatter

♬ original sound - marcappalott

The checklist Welch recites is extensive, covering everything from how to behave in a store so a shop clerk won’t accuse you of stealing to clothes you shouldn’t wear while driving if you don’t want to be pulled over by the police:

– Don’t put your hands in your pockets.

– Don’t put your hoodie on.

– Don’t be outside without a shirt on.

– Check in with your people, even if you’re down the street.

– Don’t be out too late.

– 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.

– 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 wifebeater on.

– Don’t drive with a du-rag on.

– Don’t go out in public with a wifebeater or a du-rag.

– Don’t ride with the music too loud.

– 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.

Welch said that hearing about George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police last week pushed him to speak out and share what it’s like to live with such a heightened awareness of the police.

“In this moment in our country, it was necessary for me to use my voice, so I put out the video,” he told HuffPost. “I wanted people to hear and understand the real truth of a Black man’s daily experience.” 

In the comments under the TikTok post, many Black and Latino teens said they’d memorized similar checklists from years of being lectured by their parents. 

Parents raising Black children commented, too. 

“Saving this video for my future son,” one TikTok user told Welch.

“His future shouldn’t be like this,” Welch wrote back. 

In another recent video, Welch talks about how his friends don’t say “I’ll see you later” after hanging out at each other’s houses and heading home. Instead, they say, “Stay safe.” 

“Every Black man has that feeling of, ’Am I gonna come home today?” he says in the clip. 

@skoodupcam

#fyp

♬ original sound - skoodupcam

Welch said he hopes the viral videos open more people’s eyes to the unfair reality of everyday life for so many Black Americans. 

“I want people to see that we need change and that no one should have to live like this,” he said.  

Related...

I'm Due To Give Birth Today But All I Can Think About Is George Floyd

Where To Donate To Support Black Lives And Protesters

I'm Black. My Mom Is White. This Is The Talk We Had To Have About George Floyd's Killing.

Also on HuffPost

Love HuffPost? Become a founding member of HuffPost Plus today.

A protester at an anti-racism demonstration in London on June 3 holds a sign that reads: "Our skin is not a weapon." 
A demonstrator in Brooklyn, New York, calls for justice for George Floyd and other victims of police violence with a sign that reads: "I understand that I will never understand. However, I stand. #peaceandjustice"
Breezy Rose of Kansas posted this photo of her husband holding a sign that says "Stop killing us" and her daughter holding a sign that says "Please don't shoot my dad" on Instagram. In the caption, Breezy wrote: "When I tell you I cried after snapping this picture at a rally for George Floyd today, I sobbed. This is our reality. This is reality for every black person in our country. Today I wept for George Floyd, for Breonna Taylor, for Ahmaud Arbery, for Eric Garner, for Sandra Bland, for Tamir Rice and for so many others. Today I wept for my husband having to teach this to our daughter. And today I wept for our daughter, who has to grow up with this fear. Today, we wept. But tomorrow, we fight." 
Demonstrators march near Lafayette Park across from the White House on June 2 in Washington, D.C. The sign on the left says, "I'd like to speak to the manager of systemic racism, please." The other reads: "Black Lives Matter."
Demonstrators protest police brutality at Bayfront Park in downtown Miami on May 30. The sign reads: "No lives matter til Black lives matter. #saytheirnames"
Courtney, a nurse, attends a sit-in protest in Saint Paul, Minnesota, on June 2. (She was wearing a mask but removed it for the photo, she said). The sign reads: "What color am I when I save your life? Signed, a Black R.N."
Atlanta protester Maya Nicole is working with the organization Millennial Civil Rights on a campaign called #WeSaveUs. Her sign says: "We deserve more than justice. We deserve a better reality."
New York City demonstrators walk from Foley Square past 1 Police Plaza on their way to Washington Square Park for a peaceful moment of reflection for those killed by police. The sign on the left reads: "We pay you to protect us, not kill us."
A woman holds up a sign with the Martin Luther King Jr. quote "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere" during a protest in Manhattan Beach, California, on June 2.
A man holds up a sign that says "Am I next?" at a Manhattan Beach, California, protest on June 2. 
An NYPD officer walks by a banner reading "Say Their Names" on June 1 in Brooklyn, New York. 
During a June 1 protest near the White House over the death of George Floyd, a demonstrator holds a sign that says: "It could have been my son."
Protester holds a sign that says "Indifference is evil" during an anti-racism demonstration in London on June 3. 
Protesters gather outside the residence of Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz on June 1. One man's sign reads: "Video taker: A national hero."
On June 1, a protester in Brooklyn, New York, holds a sign that reads: "4 my future Black kids."
A close-up of a sign that says: "The colour of my skin should not place a target on my back" during a May 31 protest outside Cardiff Castle in Wales.
A woman holds a drawing of George Floyd with "I can't breathe" written underneath as thousands of people join a Black Lives Matter march through central London on May 31.
Protesters hold posters and shout slogans as they march in central London on June 3. The sign in the foreground says: "You have no authority to kill a minority."
A seated protester holds a sign during a June 2 demonstration in Los Angeles over the death of George Floyd.
A protester holds up a piece of yellow plastic that reads, "Don't shoot" while participating in a demonstration outside the Forest Hills MBTA Station in Boston on June 2.
In Boyertown, Pennsylvania, a protester holds a sign that says "Charge the other 3," referring to the other three police officers present when their colleague kneeled on George Floyd's neck and killed him. The former officers have since been charged with aiding and abetting.
Demonstrators protesting the death of George Floyd hold up placards near Lafayette Park across from the White House on June 2 in Washington, D.C. The sign in the center reads: "Who do u protect?" 
A protester kneels as he holds a placard that says "Stop killer cops!!!!" in front of a row of Army National Guard troops during a June 2 demonstration in Hollywood, California.
A protester holds a sign that says "Blue Lives Murder" on May 29 in Minneapolis.
In Sydney, protesters prepare to march on Parliament House at the Archibald Fountain in Hyde Park on June 2. The one in the foreground reads: "We're not trying to start a race war. We're trying to end one." 
Protest signs posted outside the U.S. Consulate General in Edinburgh, Scotland, in response to the police killing of George Floyd. One reads: "Stop looting Black lives. End police brutality." 
New York protesters take part in a June 1 demonstration in response to the death of George Floyd. The sign on the left reads: "In unity we have strength;" the one on the right reads: "We have suffered enough." 
People shout slogans during a June 1 protest at Dam Square in Amsterdam over the death of George Floyd. The banner reads: "Police violence is not an accident." 
People carry a banner that says "We the people refuse to see cops murder citizens and walk free" as they march to protest the death of George Floyd on May 31 in Portland, Oregon.
A woman holds up a sign that says "Our black children need a future" during a May 31 protest outside Cardiff Castle in Wales/
During a Black Lives Matter protest in London's Hyde Park on June 3, a protester holds up a sign that says "White silence = Black death."
A protester holds a sign with the names of victims of police brutality during a rally in Coral Gables, Florida, on May 30.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost.