Dov Hikind Apologizes for Blackface Purim Costume

Orthodox Lawmaker Wore Afro Wig, Dressed as Hoops Player

Purim Problem: Brooklyn lawmaker Dov Hikind has apologized for dressing in blackface as a basketball player for Purim.
Purim Problem: Brooklyn lawmaker Dov Hikind has apologized for dressing in blackface as a basketball player for Purim.

By Reuters

Published February 26, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Orthodox Brooklyn lawmaker Dov Hikind apologized on Monday for donning blackface and wearing an Afro wig at a party celebrating the Jewish holiday of Purim, a costume that drew criticism from fellow lawmakers and the Anti-Defamation League bias monitoring group.

The Democratic assemblyman, who had earlier defended the costume on his blog, said he did not mean to offend anyone with the outfit, which also included black sunglasses and an orange jersey.

“It was not meant to offend anybody, it was not meant to hurt anybody. I’m sorry that anyone was,” Hikind said in an impromptu news conference, a video of which was posted on the New York Post website.

The costume, which he wore at a party at his home on Sunday, had drawn criticism from the Anti Defamation League, which said that he had “showed terrible judgment,” according to the New York Times.

Assemblyman Karim Camara, the chairman of the New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus, said he hoped Hikind could recognize the painful history behind blackface.

Blackface was often used in minstrel shows in the 19th and early 20th centuries featuring white performers portraying African Americans, often in a degrading manner.

“A lot of black leaders and clergy - elected officials, everyday citizens - were very upset or offended, and had a lot of questions as to, from their point of view, how could someone be so insensitive,” Camara was quoted by the New York Times as saying.

Hikind had earlier defended the costume on his blog, saying the objections amounted to “political correctness to the absurd.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.