After a day of ignorance, defensiveness, and waffling, Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind is ready to offer a “heartfelt and sincere” sorry for wearing a blackface Purim costume. He went from “I can’t imagine anyone getting offended” to “If I was black, on Purim I would have made my face white” to “This is political correctness to the absurd” to “In hindsight, I should have picked something else.” Now he’s apologizing, but with some leftover caveats about his intentions:
Some people have marveled at what they’ve characterized as my insensitivity in wearing the costume I wore on Purim. My initial reaction in learning of this was one of shock because my intention was never to hurt or make fun of anyone. Those who know me—in politics and in my personal life—already know this. But others who don’t know me have expressed hurt and outrage, so I am writing to address that once and for all. Unintentional as they were, I recognize now that the connotations of my Purim costume were deeply offensive to many.
I am sincerely sorry that I have hurt anyone. I apologize for the pain that I have caused anyone by this incident, and by any remarks that I have made in connection with it. It genuinely pains me that I have pained any human being. That’s not who I am, not who I want to be. I sincerely hope that this note will soothe any hurt feelings.
Hikind’s “sort of a black basketball player” outfit was posted on Facebook by his very defense son Yoni, who wrote yesterday [sic throughout], “So sad how this is being turned around. My dad doesnt have a prejudice bone in his body. Anyone that knows him, knows that. Bottom line is this. Absolutely nothing about his costume was meant to in any way offend anybody. Was with him all day and half the time he was acting as Kadhaffi. (which I actually think he looked allot more like than a black basketball player).” Yoni has yet to chime in today, which is probably for the best.