Dov Hikind is now sincerely sorry for the blackface

Dov Hikind in blackface
Assemblyman Dov Hikind apologized for dressing in blackface for Purim. (via Facebook)

After a day of protestation over perceived “political correctness to the absurd” followed by criticism from just about every city, state and local politician, Assemblyman Dov Hikind posted a “heartfelt and sincere apology” on his blog.

Hikind also tweeted the apology in parts this morning.

“Unintentional as they were, I recognize now that the connotations of my Purim costume were deeply offensive to many,” Hikind wrote. “I apologize for the pain that I have caused anyone by this incident, and by any remarks that I have made in connection with it… I sincerely hope this note will soothe any hurt feelings.”

Yesterday, Hikind held a press conference where he said, “When I made the choice, the choice was as innocent as anything in the world.”

“I was actually going to do Indians next year, but I don’t want to offend Indians,” he added.

Hikind said he was sorry that people were offended, a phrasing many politicians criticized as not apologetic enough.

A group of City Council members, led by Jumaane Williams, issued a public letter chastising the assemblyman, writing: “This is a disconcerting response, especially when we consider that on multiple occasions you have come out to loudly defend the Jewish community against real and perceived indignities.”

But several local politicos, including Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and mayoral hopefuls Bill de Blasio and Bill Thompson, couched their criticism in praise, emphasizing respect for Hikind and insisting that the recent behavior was out of character.

The Observer’s Politicker quoted several unnamed sources who reportedly felt that anyone other than Hikind would have received much stronger condemnation. The sources cited prior instances of controversial statements and actions from the assemblyman, including his characterization of Jewish support for President Obama a “disease.”

“Can you imagine if somebody else had said that?” a source reportedly said. “Internally, everyone realizes he’s a dirtbag, we’re just not going to say that because that’s the game we play.”

A source reportedly also referenced Hikind’s past connection to the Jewish Defense League, an organization the FBI deemed a “right-wing terrorist group,” as one of the intimidating things about Hikind.

“He’s like genuinely a scary dude,” the source reportedly said.

Hikind repeatedly defended the costume as in line with the spirit of Purim, the Jewish holiday that customarily involves dressing up in costume, saying he just wanted to be unrecognizable.

 

Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat


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