A prominent state assemblyman from Brooklyn who wore blackface to a party he hosted to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim, said on Monday that he did not mean to hurt anyone.
Dov Hikind, a Democrat and a longtime power broker in the Orthodox Jewish community, donned an Afro wig, brown makeup, an orange jersey and sunglasses as part of a costume that he said represented a "black basketball player," according to the New Times.
"The main objective that I have is not to be recognizable," Mr. Hikind said in an interview. "Of course the intention was not to offend anyone. That's the last thing that I ever imagined that would happen, to be very honest. It never crossed my mind."
The Post further reported that Hikind had hundreds of guests to his home on Sunday, and as he said he had done in past years, he enlisted a professional makeup artist to help him with his costume. When his grown son, Yoni, asked him if he could post a photograph of the outfit on Facebook, Hikind said saw no problem with it.
But on Monday Hikind, who was quoted as saying, "there is not a prejudiced bone in my body," found himself at the center of an upheaval. He initially brushed off the commotion following The New York Observer's report on the matter, explaining in a blog that it was a product of "political correctness to the absurd."
(Source: New York Times)