Cam Newton cannot keep himself out of the limelight. I’m not really sure which one has more strength: his popularity or polarization. We all know that many people have loved this young man since he led Auburn to a football championship. Yet, so many people want to sit on a divided fence when it comes to the type of man that he is. Whether he is enjoyable or not, there seems to be many that either paint him as a hero or villain.

Oh, and did I mention to you that he’s Black? More on this later.

Cam Newton is Hip Hop Culture

At present moment, Cam Newton has become the King of the Culture Clash. Take it from Ryan Clark’s words, it isn’t an issue of skin color but of cultural misunderstanding:

He’s not disliked because he’s brown-skinned. He’s disliked because, culturally, it’s hard to understand for most people. For many years if you look at the Black quarterbacks that were accepted, it wasn’t about skill set. … Russell Wilson is a brown quarterback. But Russell Wilsons’ culture is easier to understand. Russell Wilson doesn’t dance. Russell Wilson doesn’t have the hip hop culture. … So for the Caucasian fan, for the fan who doesn’t understand that culture, Cam Newton’s culture is too young (and) hip hop, too young (and) brown. [1]

CHARLOTTE, NC - JANUARY 03:  Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers celebrates after defeating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Bank of America Stadium on January 3, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  The Panthers won 38-10 to clinch home field advantage for the playoffs  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 587495605 ORIG FILE ID: 503294186
CHARLOTTE, NC – JANUARY 03: Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers celebrates after defeating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Bank of America Stadium on January 3, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Panthers won 38-10 to clinch home field advantage for the playoffs (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 587495605 ORIG FILE ID: 503294186

To be honest, Ryan Clark is actually on point (mostly). A lot of the other Black quarterbacks are much more “user friendly” for the average Caucasian fan. And by “average”, I mean the fan that expects professional Black people to present themselves in a certain way. Russell Wilson comes to mind immediately due to his ability to promote products and to leave feathers unruffled. Give Ryan Clark his credit: there are cultural disparities at play here.

Cam Newton is Unapologetic Black America

Still, I would be remiss to not point out that being Black is the biggest issue at play here.

The main reason that Cam Newton faces all of this scrutiny for his actions is that he refuses to apologize for it. Yes, he will dance in the end zone. Of course, he posed for pictures at the end of the NFC Championship with the rest of his team (most of those posing where Black players as well). Yes, Brian Urlacher wants Cam Newton to be more like Peyton Manning even though Peyton would be like Cam if he possessed Newton’s skill set. And has The King of Dab offered an apology for any of his actions?

Fuck no. And he’s not going to because he’s not supposed to.

Yet, there is that other reason for the scrutiny that many of us either ignore or lack awareness of: Cam refuses to be the 40 Million Dollar Slave. Yes, my good people: William C. Rhoden hit the nail on the head when he built this literary monument of Black athletic oppression. If we haven’t paid attention, we should have noted that Cam Newton is a one of a kind Black athletic quarterback. With Black athletic evolution comes White backlash.

cam newton

You have seen it happen a million times before. Black Jack Johnson faced backlash. Althea Gibson faced backlash. Jackie Robinson faced backlash. Major Taylor faced backlash. Serena William’s entire career is a running gag of backlash. And now Cam Newton faces it from a 2016 styled perspective of race and Black respectability.

Many white people aren’t going to care for Cam because he refuses to wear the shackles of decorum that has hampered the careers of many Black men and women before him. Also, he doesn’t plan on pleasing people that consciously (or unconsciously as prejudices and racism works) want him to pander to their beliefs of how a Black athlete should act. He has worked too hard to jump the hurdles of stardom, competition, and his own ego. He has become more than what many analysts thought he would be. With no recourse, Cam Newton has exceeded the racial expectations of America.

Thus, many people need to either accept him for what he is or keep it moving. As long as we know that Cam Newton is not here for White America’s acceptance, the better off many people will be.

cam-newton_650x

Now you all can dab on that if you will.

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A hip hop head that heralds from Gary, Indiana, Darcwonn now resides in the Atlanta area. When he is not teaching 6th graders how to make the most of what they read and write, he makes sure to write for his blog (www.chocolatecoveredlies.com), promote hip hop he enjoys for Emilio Sparks and Dead End Hip Hop, and review albums/music events and do interviews for Stacks Magazine. His educational pursuits led him through the throngs of Alabama State University, The University of Phoenix, and the University of Calumet – St. Joseph. On his down time, Darcwonn likes to relax, observe the world, and see his daughter grow into a young woman.