A bit from Dave Chappelle’s 2017 standup special “The Age of Spin” came to mind last week. A year before the standup special aired, Manny Pacquiao drew the ire of fans and sponsors alike by saying homosexuals were “worse than animals.” Chappelle called the comments outlandish, but then pointed out that a large part of the Filipino economy was composed of women working abroad and sending money back home. The men left behind, he said, were emasculated.
“And then, suddenly, a boxer rises from amongst them and reinstates their manhood with his motherf—–’ fists,” Chappelle said. “This is not the guy who you’re supposed to ask what he thinks about homosexuals. He’s not your champ.”
The punchline elides the fact that Pacquiao was running for a seat in the senate, so asking him about his stance on gay marriage was appropriate given the context; it’s not like someone randomly asked him in the gym what he thought about gay people after a few rounds of sparring. Yet there is still a resonant truth at the heart of the joke: Some people simply aren’t in a position to be a moral guide or clarifying voice on certain issues. Asking a religiously conservative professional fighter from a developing nation if he thinks gay people should be allowed to live a normal life is about as sensible as asking a mailman how to operate on a malignant tumor or asking a military contractor how to end a war. Nothing in their background allows them to find an answer worth hearing…Like