Jewish N.Y. Assemblyman Apologizes for Black-face Purim Costume

Democratic assemblyman Dov Hikind initially said he meant no offense when he wore black-face makeup, an Afro wig, and a basketball jersey to a costume party.

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A Veteran New York State Assemblyman has apologized for wearing blackface and a basketball jersey to a party he recently held at his home for the Jewish holiday of Purim.

Democratic Assemblyman Dov Hikind says he never meant to hurt or offend anyone.

He faced criticism Monday from black leaders for wearing dark makeup and an orange basketball jersey, sunglasses and an Afro wig at the Jewish celebration, that traditionally includes costumes.

Hikind initially defended his costume, saying he meant no offense and calling the reaction "political correctness to the absurd." He told CBS Newsradio 880 in New York that it "never crossed his mind" that it might be offensive and, that he didn't regret the costume he wore. But at a news conference in front of his Brooklyn home Monday afternoon, he said he would be more careful and sensitive in the future.

Assemblyman Karim Camara of the state Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Legislative Caucus said Hikind's costume recalled blackface minstrel shows, which he called deeply painful to African-Americans.

Screenshot of image on Facebook showing Dov Hikind, center, dressed in a black face.

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