HOUSTON — Nearly 10 million views and counting; that's how many people a Houston teen has reached with a TikTok video that lays out the unwritten rules his mother taught him to think about every time he leaves the house. It's a glimpse into what many African American parents teach their kids.
"Don’t be out too late. Don’t touch anything you’re not buying. Always have a receipt when you leave the store," says 18-year-old Cameron Welch in his viral video. "Never make it look like there’s an altercation between you and someone else."
The video isn't flashy. It's simply Welch looking at his camera and reciting his mother's rules.
"I talked about the unwritten rules my mom makes me follow on a day-to-day basis," Welch explained during an interview, "so I can come back to her safe ... We all have that talk from our parents. It’s just being cautious of things that people normally do that we just can’t do."
The advice continues, "Never leave the house without your ID. Don’t drive with a wife-beater on. Don’t ride with the music too loud. Don’t stare at a caucasian woman."
Along with the millions of views his video has received in four days are hundreds of thousands of comments, many of them empathetic and apologetic.
"A lot of the comments were, 'I’m caucasian and it’s opening my eyes to how you all live every day.' It’s really powerful. It’s an eye-opener and I’m glad to see that I'm making a difference," Welch said.
The video ends with these rules to follow when dealing with the police: "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 out your license and registration."
"I think about my future all the time," he explained. "I hope one day I don’t have to teach my kids this. I hope one day my kids will be able to grow up in an environment where they’re all treated equally. And I just want to bring change."
To watch Welch's TikTok, click here.
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