Editor’s Note: Save America’s sense of humor

Nolan Finley
The Detroit News

I’m glad actor Sean Penn has not allowed himself to be bullied into apologizing for a joke he told during the Oscars that is ridiculously being labeled racially insensitive.

In handing the Best Picture Oscar to Latin filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu, who had won several others during the evening, Penn quipped, “Who gave that (SOB) a green card?”

It was a back-handed, jesting compliment to a man Penn clearly admired. And it was funny.

Except to the perpetually offended, which unfortunately is a growing group in America. Social media lit up Penn as a racist, with many noting that making immigration jokes is decidedly off-limits today.

Give me a break. The object of Penn’s affectionate derision wasn’t bothered, describing his friendship with the actor as a “brutal relationship.” No matter. Those insulted on Iñárritu’s behalf are still after Penn’s hide.

Good grief. A sense of humor is a precious thing. If we lose it as a nation, America will be a very bleak place.