Just days after George Floyd’s death, an unarmed black man who died in police custody, Cameron Welch from Houston, Texas, posted a clip on TikTok that illustrates the racial tensions the US currently faces. In the video, the 18-year-old shares the unwritten rules his mom has instilled in him in order to stay safe.
“Don’t ride with the music too loud. Never leave the store without a receipt or a bag, even if it’s just a pack of gum.” It’s heartbreaking that someone needs such a list. We shouldn’t have to live like this.
Cameron’s TikTok immediately went viral. It has been viewed more than 10 million times and has received over 45,000 comments, most of which criticize the injustice in America.
Image credits: camig.ftp
Watch the full video below
@skoodupcamJus some unwritten rules my mom makes me follow as a young black man ##fyp ##blacklivesmatter♬ original sound – marcappalott
“I made the video for more people to understand how my people feel day to day,” Welch told Bored Panda, adding that, “The attention I’m receiving is very positive [and I] love to see that I’m making a difference.”
The teen believes that our society has been at a standstill when it comes to racial discrimination for a very long time and now we are actually moving in the right direction.
And he has a point. Similar versions of The Talk have been around since the days when a black man could be lynched for “reckless eyeballing” and “bumptious contact,” or for simply refusing to step off a sidewalk when a white person approaches.
Image credits: www.tiktok.com
Sadly, it shows that there’s something intrinsically wrong in the first place. Fred Robinson, a minister and father of three children, including one teenager said he too was taught to cooperate with cops. But he thinks The Talk has to change because, according to him, it puts the burden on black behavior. There isn’t a critique of the public or the authorities, it’s all about what black people are supposed to do.
“It puts the focus on us rather than where it should be — on racism in the police department and the way black people are targeted,” Robinson told CNN. “We are Americans and we ought to have a right to have a bad day, to question a police officer or to question an order that doesn’t seem right.”
Welch expressed similar thoughts, too. “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. I believe if you felt the bottled-up emotions of silence that our country makes us hold in, then we can make real change, because not one race should ever feel this way,” he said.