When pictures of Assembly member Dov Hikind dressed up in blackface as a “basketball player” for his annual Purim party hit Facebook this week, it prompted a predictable media firestorm.
Predictable, apparently, to everyone except Hikind, who spent the last two days explaining to anyone who would listen that he was astounded anyone could be offended by a Purim costume, because the costume, as he told Gothamist, “was just about being different. And that’s what we do on Purim.”
Hikind continued to dig the whole deeper, trying to tell the Daily News that his costume was best understood in the wider context of harmless fun: “People in the community were dressed up as Arabs,” he said. “What was that about?”
Finally, though, as pressure mounted, Hikind allowed as how maybe it wasn’t such a great idea, though his apology was very much of the I’m-sorry-you-were-offended variety. In fact, direct quote: “Anyone who was offended, I’m sorry they were offended.”
As a grace note, Hikind capped his everyone-needs-to-lighten-up apology with this sour statement to the New York Times:
“Next year I was thinking I’d be an Indian,” he said. “But you know, I’ve changed my mind about that. I don’t think that’s a good idea. Somebody will be offended.”
So, yeah: Overall, A+ apology, Mr. Hikind. After a performance like that, perhaps it’s no surprise that the Assembly member got the national TV treatment from Jon Stewart on the Daily Show.