After dressing up in blackface and a large Afro for a Purim holiday party that he hosted on Sunday, Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind is facing a lot of criticism today. Hikind is defending the costume, which also included a bright orange basketball jersey and a pair of dark sunglasses, and says that it was just part of a festive “good fun” celebration of the Jewish holiday.
Hikind wrote on his blog Monday morning, “Yes, I wore a costume on Purim and hosted a party. Most of the people who attended also wore costumes. Everywhere that Purim was being celebrated, people wore costumes. It was Purim. People dress up.”
Although many people would probably find using blackface offensive no matter what the context, Hikind sounded surprised that anyone would find the way that he chose to paint his face objectionable. According to The Daily News, Hikind was “intrigued that anyone who understands Purim—or for that matter understands me—would have a problem with this. This is political correctness to the absurd. There is not a prejudiced bone in my body.” A photo of Hikind in the costume was placed on his Facebook page. It has been removed.
Hikind’s colleague, Brooklyn city councilman Charles Barron, said the costume was racist. He rejected Hikind’s attempt to justify the costume. “It is racist,” Barron said. “That is a bunch of crap. He is trying to justify his racism.”
Barron added: “If he wanted to find somebody who liked strange wild and crazy, he should look in the mirror. He didn’t have to pick on us.”
Hikind may have difficulty putting the incident behind him. He also had trouble taking off the makeup and spent more than 30 minutes in the shower trying to remove it.
“I came out and I wiped my face and I still had stuff on my face. It's going to take me a while,” Hikind said. “But it's all worth it. I would do it again in a minute.”
Source: (The Daily News)