From very young ages, black parents have no choice but to educate their children on the “unwritten rules” of life that they must follow on a daily basis in order to remain safe in a world that still judges them by the color of their skin.
Eighteen-year-old Cameron Welch, from Houston, TX, shared a TikTok video where he shares what his mother has taught him and it has gone viral. Currently, having been viewed over 10.8 million times and counting, Welch’s “unwritten rules” have struck a cord with so many because, “It is a required conversation our parents must have to ensure that we come home alive,” Welch said in an interview with Buzzfeed.
Welch sat down with local Houston TV station KHOU 11 to talk about his TikTok video in his own words.
Here are Welch’s mom’s “unwritten rules” for young black men:
“Don’t put your hands in your pockets.
“Don’t put your hoodie on.
“Don’t be outside with no shirt on.
“Check in with your people; it don’t matter 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 neither.
“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, hands on the dashboard and ask if you can get your license and registration out.”
Welch goes on to tell Buzzfeed that, “I want people to understand the type of things my mom has to instill in me because my people continue to be judged by the color of our skin and not the content of our character, as Martin Luther King Jr. said. It is a required conversation our parents must have to ensure that we come home alive. Our voices are heard but not felt by the people. We endure too much pain and hurt to just be heard — we need you to feel just a fragment of what my people feel on a day-to-day basis in order to get meaningful change.”
To watch Welch’s full TikTok video, click here. If you have children, nephews, brothers, what are some of the “unwritten rules” that you have shared with them? Comment below, we want to hear from you.