NEW YORK (PIX11) – Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind is under fire after appearing at a party over the weekend – dressed in blackface.
Photos showing the festive assemblyman posing with his family, were posted on his son’s Facebook page.
The party, thrown at his home, was for the Jewish holiday of Purim which is typically celebrated with costumes.
The assemblyman clearly did not use good judgement in his costume choice which he described as “some of these basketball players.”
Telling the New York Observer’s Politicker, “Someone gave me a uniform, someone gave me the hair of the actual, you know, sort of a black basketball player.”
While Hikind maintains he did not intend to offend anyone, the costume – and his poorly structured remarks – has prompted a storm of backlash.
The heat on the assemblyman was enough for him to take to his blog on Monday, explaining his Purim costume.
“Yes, I wore a costume on Purim and hosted a party. Most of the people who attended also wore costumes,” he said. “Everywhere that Purim was being celebrated, people wore costumes. It was Purim. People dress up.”
“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.”
Fellow Brooklyn assemblyman Karim Camara sees it a different way, saying he is “deeply shocked and outraged by the insensitive actions” of Hikind.
“We, as leaders have to be extremely careful that we foster understanding amongst our different cultural groups and not use the images of one as a tool for humor,” Camara said in a statement Monday. “In speaking with many African Americans both leaders and average citizens, the outrage is widespread.”
Camara insists that an apology should be issued to those who were offended.