Dov Hikind, a Jewish Assemblyman from Brooklyn, dressed in blackface this weekend for a Purim party he hosted. Hikind’s son posted a picture on Facebook showing his father in blackface and an afro wig. From Politicker:
“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. “It was just a lot of fun. Everybody just had a very, very good time and every year I do something else. … The fun for me is when people come in and don’t recognize me.”
Hikind, who has fought discrimination (among many other things) during more than two decades in office, can’t imagine why anyone would be offended.
“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,” Mr. Hikind said. “Purim, you know, everything goes and it’s all done with respect. No one is laughing, no one is mocking. No one walked in today and said, ‘Oh my God.’ … It’s all just in good fun with respect always, whatever anyone does it’s done with tremendous amounts of respect and with dignity, of course.”
Somehow, Hikind made it this far in life without learning the lesson that it is probably never an acceptable time to use blackface.