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Assemblyman slow to live down blackface controversy after slamming Dior designer for ‘Hasidic costume’

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What was he thinking?

That is the prevailing question swirling among New York state assemblyman Dov Hikind’s colleagues after a photo appeared on his son’s Facebook page this weekend showing the veteran politician dressed wearing an afro wig, in black face.

Even today, in 2013 – it still ranks as one of the most insulting, painful mischaracterizations of an entire race.

“They were used to demean African Americans. To say that we weren’t smart enough, or that we weren’t good enough, or that we weren’t human, or clean enough. There caricatures were designed to rob of us our dignity”, said Rev. Conrad Tillard of the Nazarene Congregational Church in Brooklyn.

Hikind is a pillar of Brooklyn’s orthodox Jewish community, and persistent watchdog against anti-Semitism, and intolerance in general.

If you can believe it, he initially defended his so called costume, worn Sunday during a large party at his home for the Jewish holiday “Purim”.

Dov Hikind

“It was Purim. Purim is when people get dressed up and try to look different,” said Hikind.

It took less than a New York minute for casual observers and elected officials alike – black and white – to universally condemn the man who is often considered one of the Big Apple’s more media-savvy public officials.

Assemblywoman Deborah Glick tweeted, “Assembly member Dov Hikind in blackface was beyond offensive. A Purim party shouldn’t be cover for insensitivity. He is an ass!”

After all, it was Hikind who went on the offensive just a couple of weeks ago, questioning former Christian Dior designer john Galliano’s Hasidic costume.

Hikind was quoted as saying, “Who is he mocking? The way the socks look, the jacket, the peyos…my question is, ‘Who’s he laughing at?’”

By Monday evening, Hikind changed his tune during a hastily arranged news conference in front of his Brooklyn home.

“Anyone who was offended, I’m sorry that they were offended. That was not the intention. And that’s really all i can say”, said Hikind.

But Rev. Tillard of the Nazarene Congregational Church in Brooklyn says he needs more from Hikind – even after his apology.

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9 comments

  • carlene in LIC

    I am a 40 year old black woman and I think people need to lighten up, he dressed in a costume for Purim and that's all full stop, period, end of story why is this one of the top news story. I dressed as an Amish woman for Halloween with extremely light make up on my face to make me look like a white woman big deal that's what costume means being something or someone that you are not.

  • ramona

    if it was a moronity dressing as a jewish person all hell will break loss but because we don't stand together and stop buying in jewish own store to make a point in a few days people will forget . this is the reason why we keep being step on by every one. what a shame

    • angelina

      I agree… If like I said if it had been a black man walking around with holocaust numbers on him.. ALL HELL WOULD HAVE BROKEN LOSE. I have learned not to get offended because we will never have the rights that others have mainly because we were not born in this county but brought to it. I take that as my motivation to be the best that I can be

  • Lotti

    people need to get over it, so why is it that black stand up comics and black shows make fun at white people and other ethnic groups and noone says oh thats racist and make a small thing huge, you say anything about black people and it becomes racist. black people werent the only race that dealt with racism, for one thing they have music, movies and shows also with just black people in them, yet when theres an all white movie or shows theres a problem. this is getting old things will never be perfect as we arent perfect. we live and die so just make the best of it :) im not white just for the record, but i see how the white and black thing goes, i see no difference between the 2 or any other race.

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