A Brooklyn assemblyman is under fire for wearing blackface to a party at his home. Dov Hikind donned an Afro wig and brown makeup to celebrate Purim, which has been dubbed the "Jewish Mardi Gras" or "Jewish Halloween." It is customary for people to dress up in costume, but this is beyond bad taste and incredibly bad judgement. In light of that, there is only one thing for his constituents to do.
They should demand a public apology, at the very least. The costume choice made headlines after his son posted a photo from the party on Facebook, boasting about how cool his parents were. The New York Observer reported that Hikind had hired a professional makeup artists to dress him as a basketball player. The politician called the outfit "a lot of fun."
He said he dresses up in something different every year and especially loves it when people walk in and don't recognize him. It looks like a big joke to everyone, but those partygoers may be the only ones laughing. To me and many others, this is far from funny and not what we expect from an elected official.
I am no fool. I know there is a lot of racism still percolating in this country. But a representative of the people should know better. Especially one in a majority minority city. What an idiot. But more than that – this type of insensitivity demonstrates he doesn't have the common sense to lead a litter of city rats. Hikind claims that he did not know his costume would be offensive and that wasn't his intention.
But is his supposed ignorance explanation enough? Besides, I find it hard to believe that a New York City politician did not have any inkling how incredibly insulting it is to wear blackface and pretend to be a black man. It was a style of entertainment in the 19th Century to propagate racists images and stereotypes. So if he Hikind didn't know before, he certainly should know now and owes the public an apology.
Do you think Hikind's costume was insulting?
Image via Facebook