Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind hosted a party over the weekend in honor of a Jewish holiday known as Purim. However, what turned heads was Hikind posting photos on Facebook with the elected official donning blackface and an afro wig – later defending the outfit on social media and his blog.
A report from The Observer's Politicker column suggests that Hikind, reveling in the holiday, saw nothing wrong with his getup. After a massive and public 14-hour celebration of food and drink, Hikind's outfit of choice stood out. With his face painted black complete with shades and afro, Hikind was assisted by a makeup artist to appear to look like a basketball player.
“I was just, I think, I was trying to emulate, you know, maybe some of these basketball players. Someone gave me a uniform, someone gave me the hair of the actual, you know, sort of a black basketball player,” Mr. Hikind explained to Politicker. The assemblyman was staunch in his opinion that nobody should find the outfit offensive.
“I can't imagine anyone getting offended. You know, anyone who knows anything about Purim knows that if you walk throughout the community, whether it's Williamsburg, Boro Park, Flatbush, Forest Hills, Kew Gardens Hills, people get dressed up in, you name it, you know, in every kind of dress-up imaginable,” he added.
Hikind is apparently sticking to his guns, asserting on his personal blog that he isn't racist.
“It was Purim. People dress up,” wrote Hikind. This is political correctness to the absurd. There is not a prejudiced bone in my body.”
Or, it could be just poor judgment on the part of the assemblyman.