Black teen shares the rules his mom makes him follow when leaving the house

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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.

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. 

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. 

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I’m A 73-Year-Old Black Woman. Here’s How I’ve Kept Hope Alive For A Better Future.

The author in 2020
The author in 2020

“A powerful binary choice guided my journey: ‘You can only be one of two things ― a credit to the race or a disgrace to the race.’”

Witnessing recent police violence and racial strife swallowing our cities and towns, I’ve been tempted to cave into feeling like we’ve all been duped by the so-called promise of America. Once more in history, reactionary white supremacists and their allies have risen to crush African American aspirations.

With all of my accomplishments, I’m still compelled at times to feel tired and hopeless. I have both a master’s degree in public health and a doctorate in political science from the University of California, Berkeley. I’m retired from a great professional career in public health and foreign policy. And yet, I’m still tempted to discount not only my own personal accomplishments, but at times those of my people and the nation under the crushing weight of hatred. It has taken a long time — over a century and a half — for a Civil War and social activism to get us where we are.  

Because of that continuous agitation, I can still muster some hope. My life has included participation in the civil rights movement, anti-war movement, Black students movement, farmworkers movement, feminist movement, anti-apartheid movement, and Central American solidarity movement. I learned that as long as good people rise to resist hate, the promise of America, rooted in the Constitution and rule of law, lives. I also learned that proponents of racism and white supremacy reinvent their ideologies and organizations and (re)perpetrate hateful resistance to change. So the struggle does not end ― even with significant political and social victories.

As a Black girl, my “American dream” was filtered by my parents through a realist prism. They raised me to aim for my highest potential, but, they were pragmatists. They cautioned that striving to reach the American dream would not be a cakewalk for a Black girl. It required navigating the unjust gauntlet of racism and female vulnerability. Discrimination had to be fought and, with each victory, the wounds allowed to heal and fade as I readied myself for the next confrontation.

“You will have to work twice as hard to get half as far as a white child,” I was told.

What white child born in 1946 was so instructed by her or his parents?

The author (third from the right) with her primary Sunday school class at the Assembly of God Church in Wallowa, Oregon, in 1
The author (third from the right) with her primary Sunday school class at the Assembly of God Church in Wallowa, Oregon, in 1950.

They also schooled me that, regardless of what I achieved, it was my duty to uplift my race. A powerful binary choice guided my journey: “You can only be one of two things ― a credit to the race or a disgrace to the race.” 

Beginning in the early 1950s, in the sawmill town of Wallowa, Oregon, my parents — a log cutter and his wife — and working class neighbors and friends, both Black and white, started me along my journey through painful encounters with racism and celebrated my triumphs. 

In 1953, when I was in second grade, my classmates were invited to join the Brownies, the Girl Scout group for girls ages seven to 10. When I showed up to join with my 50-cent fee in hand, some white mothers objected and I was turned away. But one mother fought them. She formed a new 4-H club chapter for girls, came to our home and personally asked my mother if I could join.  When white mothers complained, she told them if I was the only girl in 4-H, that’s how it would be. They grumbled but let their daughters join.

In the summer of 1958, when I turned 12, we moved to Grass Valley, an old all-white mining town in northern California historically inhospitable to African Americans. To find a home, my father had to rent a house from the state that was due for demolition some years out, since no local white person would rent to us. When the demolition time came, a local Quaker family purchased and resold to us a home to live in. The house had a historic racial covenant in the deed but by that time was unenforceable under California state law.  

After graduating from high school in 1964, I enrolled at Sacramento State College. I was the only African American girl in the dormitory. My second year, several white friends and I decided to rent an apartment. Because of housing discrimination, landlords would not rent to the group if I were included due to the color of my skin. After a number of attempts, my friends apologized and move on with their plan to move off campus. One of them, who knew better, moved in with them but invited me to meet her mother, an activist in the Democratic Party working on housing discrimination under the Rumford Fair Housing Act. That was the beginning of my political life.

As a political science graduate student at Berkeley in 1975, I was counseled by peers on which professors to avoid. Some were aggressively anti-affirmative action and derided every minority student’s enrollment as a diminution of their merit system. But thankfully, there were also decent faculty mentors who guided me on the path to earn my degrees.

The author when she was a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1984.
The author when she was a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1984.

Ensuing decades in various workspaces had highs and lows. When I was first hired in 1973 as a mental health planner in Alameda County, California, one of the supervisors told me I was the most qualified but a young white man, given a lesser job, was told I got it instead of him because of affirmative action. I went ahead and did my job well in spite of the claim.

Through 50 years of activism, there was intramovement racism and sexism to contend with. At Sacramento State College, my undergraduate school, women held the Black Students Union together while men took the lead with bullhorns in front of the marches and cameras. 

During the height of the Black Student Movement, we invited the Oakland Black Panthers to speak on campus. We pooled our student money and made reservations at a fine Italian restaurant. They were in no mood. When we had to translate the menu for them, they railed at us as “bougie bitches” and “educated fools.” And there was Ron Karenga’s group, Us, that in part blamed Black women for some Black men feeling inferior.

Throughout all of those years, I celebrated both personal and national victories that had a positive impact on my community. Discriminatory housing was banned in California, federal civil and voting rights legislation became law, California farmworkers were unionized, South Africa and El Salvador were liberated, Black studies became a college major across the country, and women entered formerly all-male spaces to break the gender barrier.

The author with United Nations peacekeeping forces in Guinea, West Africa, in 2000.
The author with United Nations peacekeeping forces in Guinea, West Africa, in 2000.

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The lessons I learned from all of my experiences with racism and discrimination is to find allies and never give up. Through struggle comes change, as slow as it may seem. I also learned that changes that may seem small today were transformational when they happened. Ultimately, all change depends on never giving up.

And so, in 2020, as we move into yet another round of resistance, I will continue to fight for change. I have taught the next generation and the baby generation after them in our family that it’s their duty to agitate while opening doors for themselves and others. After all, with permanent struggle, over the past 155 years since the legal end of our enslavement ― when we were declared property and not human ― there has been “progress,” though incomplete and insufficient.

At this point in my life, my hope is limited by the urgency of time. I know I will not see the America I was promised. But my hope, based in racial pragmatism and American idealism, is a legacy of clear-eyed optimism I will pass on to keep future generations of my family and my community striving until we get there.

Pearl Alice Marsh is retired with a distinguished 30-year career in public health and U.S. African foreign policy. She is the first African American woman to earn a doctorate in political science from the University of California, Berkeley. Her life of political activism in the San Francisco Bay Area spans decades of social movements and public service. Since retiring, she continues to live as a political activist and pursue her retirement research interest in the migration of African Americans to rural Oregon. Her publications include articles in the Oregon Historical Quarterly and a collection of memoirs, “But Not Jim Crow: Family Memories of African American Loggers of Maxville, Oregon.”

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Lindsey Graham In New Ad: ‘Joe Biden Is As Good A Man As God Ever Created’

Lindsey Graham demands AG Barr declassify FISA docs to public

Senator’s old comments come back to haunt latest video by Republican Voters Against Trump.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) gushes in a new Republican ad that former Vice President Joe Biden is “as good a man as God ever created” — while President Donald Trump is a “xenophobic, race-baiting, religious bigot.”

What a difference an administration makes. The comments were pulled from  Graham’s past, “before he lost his conscience” and became one of the president’s staunchest defenders, noted a statement from the Republican Voters Against Trump.

“You want to know how to make America great again?” Graham asked in 2015. “Tell Donald Trump to go to hell.”

The ad backing Trump’s Democratic presidential rival features a very different Graham. It will run on Fox News in the Charlotte and Greenville markets, reaching both South Carolina and the swing state of North Carolina. It will also air on Fox News in Washington, D.C.

The old Graham “lays out in explicit terms just how clear the choice is in this election, and why Joe Biden is suited to unite the country,” said RVAT spokesperson Sarah Longwell. “Joe Biden has the empathy and proven experience to reach across the aisle and work with people” — even Lindsey Graham.

Check out the ad up top.

Here’s more of Graham’s comments about Biden in an interview in 2015, the same year he was bashing Trump: 

Trump Moves Tulsa Rally So It Won’t Fall On Juneteenth

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The president moved the campaign event in Tulsa, site of a 1921 racist massacre, that would have fallen on a holiday celebrating Black freedom from slavery.

President Donald Trump moved a campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, so it would no longer fall on June 19th, or Juneteenth, the day commemorating Black emancipation from slavery.

The president had been criticized for planning a rally on the holiday, specifically in Tulsa, the site of a 1921 racist massacre of Black people by white mobs. Trump said the rally will be on June 20. 

“Many of my African American friends and supporters have reached out to suggest that we consider changing the date out of respect for this Holiday, and in observance of this important occasion and all that it represents,” Trump wrote on Twitter late Friday. “I have therefore decided to move our rally to Saturday, June 20th, in order to honor their requests.”

The Tulsa massacre was one of the worst incidents of racist violence in the nation’s history. 

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), who is Black, had called Trump’s rally, when it was planned for Juneteenth, a “welcome home party” for “white supremacists.” Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) called it a “slap in the face to African Americans.”  

Pressed about Trump’s decision to hold a rally in Tulsa on Juneteenth, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters Thursday that it was a “meaningful day” for Trump, adding, “The African American community is very near and dear to his heart.”

Trump has a long history of racism, including calling for the death penalty for the “Central Park Five,” the Black teens wrongfully accused of raping a white woman in New York, as well as pushing the racist “birther” conspiracy theory that Barack Obama was not born in the U.S. and could not become president. Since his election, Trump has referred to African and Black-majority nations as “shithole” countries and described the white nationalists who marched in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017 as “very fine people.” 

Trump’s Oklahoma rally will be the first since he paused reelection campaign events amid the coronavirus pandemic. Trump’s campaign lists a legal disclaimer on its website that those who register for the rally “assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19.” The venue is an indoor arena with a 19,000-person capacity, and Trump said Friday that more than 200,000 people had requested tickets to attend. 

Mitt Romney Joins Black Lives Matter Protesters Marching Toward White House

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“We need to stand up and say, ‘Black lives matter,’” said the senator and 2012 GOP presidential nominee, one of the few prominent Republicans to support the protests.

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) on Sunday showed his support for the anti-racism protests in response to the police murder of George Floyd by joining a Black Lives Matter march in Washington, becoming one of the few Republican lawmakers to do so.

“We need many voices against racism and against brutality,” Romney told NBC News, as he marched with a group of Christians along Pennsylvania Ave. in the direction of the White House. “We need to stand up and say, ‘Black lives matter.’”

The Utah senator and 2012 GOP presidential nominee is one of the few Republican leaders to publicly show support for the protesters. Most Republicans have stood by President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly maligned the protesters and called for military action against them.

Last week, Trump ordered police to tear gas protesters, including religious leaders, in front of the White House — moments before staging a photo-op at a nearby church.

On Saturday, Romney tweeted a photo of his father, then-Michigan Gov. George Romney (R), participating in a civil rights march in the 1960s.

As New York Times reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones pointed out Saturday, the elder Romney faced much criticism from his white constituents for his support of the civil rights movement.

In 1969, when he became housing and urban development secretary under President Richard Nixon, he advocated against housing discrimination and promoted policies for more integrated housing, including the Fair Housing Act. He launched an initiative called Open Communities, forcing white communities to integrate by rejecting applications for infrastructure projects if leaders were using discriminatory housing practices. But Nixon shut down the initiative and eventually ousted him from his administration.

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