Last weekend, “Saturday Night Live” did a skit about a CNN debate between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Problem was, the only African-American male cast member they had available couldn’t reasonably portray Obama because he has a very different body type and it just wouldn’t have worked.

So, do you know what they did? Okay, you may want to be sitting when you hear this so you won’t fall down. Are you ready? Here goes.

Fred Armisen, a non-African-American, played Obama.

Oh my god! This is outrageous and blatantly racist! A white man in blackface. “Saturday Night Live” is now a gaudy minstrel show. It’s a return to Jim Crow. All the gains of the civil rights movement wiped out in one fell swoop thanks to the white supremacists at SNL. Where’s Jesse Jackson? Al Sharpton? Why no demonstrations? Why no boycotts? Where’s the justice? No justice, no peace!

Wait a minute. You mean you haven’t actually heard about this? Well, the Internet is absolutely abuzz with debate, we are told, over this perceived outrage. Chicago Tribune columnist, Maureen Ryan, has written a piece entitled “‘SNL’ can do better than Armisen’s Obama.” The column begins: “Call me crazy, but shouldn’t ‘Saturday Night Live’s’ fictional Sen. Barack Obama be played by an African-American?”

I won’t call her crazy, I’ll just call her dumb. If we examine this a bit more rationally we may be able to come to a different conclusion than that the country has just lost 50 years of progress. Follow me on this.

Barack Obama is half white and half black. Therefore, why isn’t it just as legitimate for a white man to portray him as a black man? Is the black part the only part that matters?

If you want to get completely ridiculous about racial proportionality and take it to the only purely logical conclusion, it could be insisted that only a tall, lanky man of mixed race should portray Obama in a comedy sketch.

But the country should be grown-up enough at this point not to get in a lather over something so utterly trivial. So a white guy portrayed a guy who’s half white. So what? Get over it already.

Actually, most of us are over it because we never got our drawers in a wad to begin with. The only ones who are upset, thankfully, are minimal in number and are people like the aforementioned Maureen Ryan, who ended her column thusly: “Obama’s candidacy gives us solid proof of the progress that African-Americans have made in this country. I guess ‘SNL’ still has further to go on that front.”

We also have ample proof of the columnist’s moronic racial nitpicking, which is something we could all do without.

Greg Strange provides conservative commentary with plenty of acerbic wit on the people, politics, events and absurdities of our time. See more at his website: http://www.greg-strange.com/.

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