(UPDATE) Dov Hikind sort of apologizes for blackface

Dov Hikind in blackface
Assemblyman Dov Hikind with his family, dressed in blackface for Purim. (Facebook)

UPDATE: Assemblyman Dov Hikind held a press conference Monday afternoon following the backlash over his appearing in blackface at his Purim party this weekend.

Hikind had repeatedly insisted that there was nothing wrong with the blackface, and dismissed the offended responses as overly politically correct.

Assemblyman Karim Camara, chair of the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Caucus, issued a statement expressing shock and outrage, and calling Hikind’s actions “insensitive.”

“I find the actions of the Assemblyman to be callous and repugnant,” Camara said in the statement. “At the very least, an apology should be issued to those who found his portrayal objectionable.”

At the press conference, Hikind apologized that people were offended.

“We live in a society where everyone is sensitive about everything,” Hikind said. “It’s not difficult for me to say, OK, fine.”

Some city politicians, including Brooklyn City Councilman Jumaane Williams, have noted Hikind’s reputation for frequent and immediate responses to “perceived and real” slights against his community.

Within hours, the website isblackfacefunnyyet.com was created, featuring a succinct answer to the day’s big question.

 

Metro’s original story is below.

Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind reportedly dressed up in blackface at his Purim celebration this weekend.

A short post on Hikind’s blog this morning is titled “It’s Purim. People Dress Up.”

The post reads: “I am 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.”

Hikind’s 23-year-old son posted a photo of his parents in costume on Facebook with the caption “how cool are my folks… Lol.”

In the photo, Hikind is wearing an afro wig and what looks like a neon orange jumpsuit, but is apparently a basketball jersey.

Hikind reportedly told Politicker that he “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 basketball player.”

He also reportedly told CBS “if [he] was black, on Purim [he] would have made [his] face white.”

Hikind’s office said they have not yet released a statement and Hikind was unavailable for interview. His press secretary Yehuda Meth said they are planning a press conference.

Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat

 


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