After Media Creates Ridiculous Uproar, Hikind Issues Apology for Afro Purim Costume


hikind[See Matzav’s earlier report here.] Assemblyman Dov Hikind this afternoon apologized for donning blackface at his blowout Purim party, after spending all morning defending his innocent getup.

He wore brown face paint, sunglasses, an Afro wig and an orange jersey.

“To anyone who was offended, I’m sorry,” Hikind said. “That was not the intention.”

The Brooklyn Democrat added: “If I had to do It all over again, I would certainly found something, another costume to wear.”

Earlier today, Hikind said his costume wasn’t wrong, saying he doesn’t have a “prejudiced bone” in his body.

“Yes, I wore a costume on Purim and hosted a party. Most of the people who attended also wore costumes,” Hikind wrote on his blog today.

“Everywhere that Purim was being celebrated, people wore costumes. It was Purim. People dress up.”

Assemblyman Karim Camara (D-Brooklyn), chairman of the state Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus, said Hikind doesn’t grasp the historical implications of blackface.

“I am deeply shocked and outraged by the insensitive actions of Assemblyman Hikind,” Camara said.

“The history of the blackface minstrel show is something deeply painful in the African American community. It brings back the memories of African Americans being reduced to ‘buffoonery’ just to gain access to the entertainment industry. The stereotypes embodied in blackface minstrels have played a significant role in cementing and proliferating racist images.”

Before apologizing, Hikind accused critics of taking racial sensitivity to outrageous lengths.

“This is political correctness to the absurd. There is not a prejudiced bone in my body.”

Hikind played the PC card for his own benefit, less than two weeks after calling out oddball fashion designer John Galliano and his chossid-like attire.

“Who is he mocking?” Hikind fumed at Galliano earlier this month. “If it was just anyone else, I wouldn’t know what to say. But considering who this guy is, considering his background and what he’s said in the past, let him explain it to all of us: Are you mocking us?”

Hikind, 62, earlier told the political news Web site Politicker that his Purim costume was meant in good fun.

“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,” Hikind said.

“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 said earlier today that he can’t fathom how blackface – or at least his version of it – could be considered insensitive or in poor taste.

“I can’t imagine anyone getting offended,” said Hikind. “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.”

“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,’ ” he said earlier.

“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.”

The Assemblyman’s wife was dressed as a devil and his son was a trippy, yin-yang-faced “angel.”


{ Newscenter}


  1. He should have known better, particularly a few days after protesting that person wearing a kapote, hat and peyot and screaming about “racist mockery” and whatnot.

  2. dov is totally:
    aberrant, abnormal, anomalous, beat*, bent*, bizarre, capricious, characteristic, cockeyed, crazy, curious, droll, erratic, far out, flaky, freak, freakish, funky*, funny, idiosyncratic, irregular, kooky, nutty, odd, oddball, off the wall, off-center, offbeat, out in left field, outlandish, peculiar, quaint, queer, quirky, quizzical, singular, strange, uncommon, unconventional, unnatural, way out, weird, whimsical, wild

  3. I’m not judging if it was ok or not ok. I just can’t believe that an experienced politician such as Dov, who surely is aware of the ever present cellphone camera, would make such a foolish choice for a purim costume.

  4. To play devil’s advocate, isn’t there always an uproar when someone dresses in a nazi (Yamach shimam) uniform on halloween?

  5. This new development, wherby frum people become representatives of our community through the media exposure they attain as minor government officials, was decried by the great leaders of yesteryear. People like Rabbi Moshe Sherrer zt’l understood that community activists never went beyond the shtadlanus role in our communities. In Europe and our other Galus waystations we managed to find reliable goyim to elect wile we worked behind the scenes to have them accomplish our goals. Our true leaders were thus only the Gedolei Torah and Rabbanim whose every word and nuance bespoke kiddush shem shamayim.

    Now, instead, we have well meaning but insubstantial elected officials who say and do sily things as we witnessed yesterday at the Hikind Purim party. And all of us are now shamed by the actions of an unlearned attention seeker who thinks he speaks for us just because he holds a minor elected post in Brooklyn. It is time he and his comrades return to the background and leave the official elected positions to those who can do whatever they want without embarrassing our community. We will accomplish more and get the focus off the frum official and back on the issues!

  6. This brings back memories when Jakie mason called Mayor Dinkins a fancy shvartza. That year we had a family gathering. There was almost a war. My Chasidishe side of The family felt the word word shvartza could be used negatively but its usually used by us to refer to any black person. My left leaning liberal aunt and her family felt the word shvartza is worse then the N word. Go try explaining to a non jew that putting on black face on purim doesnt mean your a racist. They won’t understand.

  7. #12,

    Just to correct your history. Rabbi Meir Shapiro was a member of the Polish Parliament. As were other gedolei Torah.

    Please don’t distort and falsify history in order to push your agenda.

    However, you may have some good points. If you want good to come out, you better stick to the absolute truth. Otherwise you’ll be doing a lot worse than anyone else.

  8. People r bored !!! Seriously bored, i dont think they were bored i think they had a chance of antisemitic attack and that is why the put this on news.

  9. Should not have apologized.
    Amazing, how the community that largely supports real racist haters such as Farrakhan, Sharpton and Jackson, are so “sensitive” to some obscure historical events. Most blacks in NYC do not even descend from the American slaves, they and/or their ancestors immigrated to this country throughout the 20th century from the Caribbean and sometimes Africa. Same as the majority of the white population of NYC – immigrated to this country way after slavery, had nothing to do with the Southern racism, KKK, and black faces. Plainly, there is an attempt to manipulate people who had nothing to do with racism and slavery in the first place. Used by people who did not suffer from the American slavery and Jim Crow racism, all to achieve more and more political power. When will we stand up to this deceiving Saul Alinsky tactic? When will we say – no, we won’t apologize for doing nothing wrong, we won’t give you an inch.

  10. It doesn’t matter what you think should be offensive to others. It matters how people who are offended feel. If you unintentionally insulted someone in shul and found out they were offended, should you shrug it off and say “They shouldn’t be offended?” Or should you apologize and say sorry, no offense intended? The answer should be obvious. (But it’s not.)