Monday, February 25, 2013

New York Assemblyman Defends Wearing Blackface, Afro Costume

New York Assemblyman Defends Wearing Blackface, Afro Costume: ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A veteran New York Assemblyman on Monday stood by his decision to wear blackface makeup, an Afro wig and a basketball jersey to a costume party in the face of criticism he called “political correctness to the absurd.”

Democratic Assemblyman Dov Hikind wrote on his blog Monday that he doesn’t understand the criticism swirling around Albany and doesn’t know why anyone would be offended by the costume he wore to a party he recently held at his home in Brooklyn to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim.

Assemblyman Karim Camara of the state Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Legislative Caucus called Hikind’s actions “callous and repugnant” and said his fellow lawmaker should apologize.

“The history of the blackface minstrel show is something deeply painful in the African-American community,” said Camera, a Brooklyn Democrat. “It brings back the memories of African-Americans being reduced to buffoonery just to gain access to the entertainment industry.”