According to New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, on “Purim, you know, everything goes.”
For the Orthodox politician from Brooklyn, “everything” includes dressing in blackface.
Hikind, who has a vocal record when it comes to demanding respect for Jewish sensitivities, appeared oblivious to the racist history behind his Purim cosmetics. The assemblyman told a reporter from Politicker he was thrilled fellow revelers didn’t recognize him beneath his thickly applied dark brown face paint and huge Afro wig.
Hikind said he’d had a professional makeup artist come to his home to transform him into an African-American basketball player. “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,” he said.
When asked about the possibility of offending voters with his makeup, Hikind, 62, responded that he was doing it with “tremendous amounts of respect and dignity . . . no one is laughing, no one is mocking.”
“I can’t imagine anyone getting offended,” he said. “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.”
Update: Hikind has quasi-apologized. He’s not sorry for dressing in blackface, but he is “sorry people were offended.”