Menu JTA Search

Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind doesn’t see what’s wrong with painting his face black on Purim

Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind held a massive party at his house yesterday for the Jewish holiday of Purim, which features 14 hours of food, booze, and of course, costumes.

Hikind, getting into the holiday spirit, dressed up as a basketball player– ALL BASKETBALL PLAYERS, you see, not just a specific one– complete with afro, sunglasses, and jersey. He told Politicker he hired a professional make up artist to paint his face, er, darker.

“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,” Hikind explained, defending his choice of costume.

When a reporter asked if he was worried people would find his costume racist, he reponded, “I can’t imagine anyone getting offended,” he said. “Purim, you know, everything goes and it’s all done with respect. No one is laughing, no one is mocking. No one walked in today and said, ‘Oh my God.”

Hikind later reiterated to WCBS that it “never crossed my mind for a second” that having a blackfaced costume isn’t OK. “If I was black,” Hikind added, “on Purim I would have made my face white.”

NEXT STORY