Dov Hikind is the asshole New York assemblyman representing District 48, a swath of concrete in Brooklyn that includes Midwood and Borough Park, a famous Orthodox Jewish enclave in the borough’s southwest quadrant. Hikind is an Orthodox Jew himself. To celebrate Purim this year, marking the deliverance of the Jewish people from extermination in ancient Persia, Hikind threw an elaborate costume party. Hikind’s wife dressed as a red-faced demon and his son painted a yin-yang symbol on his face, reportedly to look like an “angel.” And Hikind himself, the 62-year-old elected representative from one of the world’s most diverse cities? Why, he went as a basketball player, in Afro and blackface, of course.
Reports the Observer‘s Hunter Walker, Hikind had “a lot of fun” turning what could have been a totally innocent holiday party into a minstrel show:
“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,” Mr. Hikind explained. “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 went on to say that his costume, which draws on centuries-old blackface performances designed to undergird white supremacy, was done “all just in good fun with respect.”
Despite the efforts of white folks who should know better, blackface has been unable to convey fun or respect for quite a while now. And Hikind’s career to this point has not been a particularly inspiring study in how to live with difference. Read more at Gawker
I love how his excuse is “he just thought he was pretending to be a basketball player”. Someone call Steve Nash, Dirk Nowinski and Pau Gasol and let them know they arent basketball players apparently.