Dads matter. Social media shouldn't.

Add this to the twin camps of social media is a dumpster fire, and the new culture that says it's racist to criticize anyone. 

Cam Newton, the one-time all word quarterback who spent his last season in New England, is online famous for a back and forth with a young camper at his football camps. 

The young man, a high schooler, mocked Newton to his face. He made fun of Cam for getting old, for being a free agent, and for not having a guaranteed contract for the next season. 

Newton ribbed the young man, asking if he played in the camp’s game, how he did, if he could back-up any of the trash talk. 

The video went viral, and the reaction was about what you’d expect. 

Newton got a mixed bag of support for wanting to talk to the young man’s father, and got some criticism for ‘embarrassing’ the teen. 

This is where we are in 2021. A foul-mouthed teen can criticize a grown man to his face, and be supported for it. 

When we were kids, any adult could and did tell us how to behave. And we listened. We did what we were told, not out of fear, but because of respect. We respected adults. All adults. Even some who didn’t deserve it. 

Now, young people are taught not to respect adults. It starts in school, then on the job, then with the police. 

Young men and young women believe they are the center of the universe, and anyone who criticizes them is wrong. Their behavior is fine, no matter what. Who the hell or you to tell them any different. 

Social media only makes it worse. Young people, literally, are the center of their universe. Likes, subscriptions, internet fame all happen to people as young as eight-years-old. Look at the top paid YouTubers, they’re millionaires. That only adds to this toxic mix of disrespect, fame-seeking, and me-first. 

At some point, Newton to his credit, asks about the young man’s father. I didn’t hear the answer. But the question is key. 

Dads used to set the rules. Dads taught us about respect. Respect for our moms, other women, other people, the school, the cops, the boss. Dads live in the real world. Dads made sure their kids were ready for that real world. 

But this is a day and age when a lot of young people, particularly young black men, are growing-up without fathers. Without someone to teach them respect, to teach them about the real world. 

This video shows that in living color. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images