Dear Whites Like Me

At some point you are just going to have to recognize that you don’t get to use the N-bomb and that this is never, ever, ever acceptable:

A prominent Brooklyn assemblyman defended himself on Monday after attracting attention for wearing blackface to a party he hosted this weekend to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim.

The assemblyman, Dov Hikind, a Democrat who has been a longtime power broker in the Orthodox Jewish community, wore an Afro wig, orange jersey, sunglasses and brown makeup or face paint as part of a costume that Mr. Hikind said represented a “black basketball player.”

“I was just, I think, I was trying to emulate, you know, maybe some of these basketball players,” Mr. Hikind told The New York Observer. “Someone gave me a uniform, someone gave me the hair of the actual, you know, sort of a black basketball player.”

He added, “The fun for me is when people come in and don’t recognize me.”

Idiots.

96 replies
  1. 1
    LAC says:

    I guess, by that logic, I should brush off my gestapo guard costume and join assemblyman fucknuts at the next gathering.

  2. 2
    Zandar says:

    *omega headdesk*

    I CANNOT WITH THESE GUYS.

  3. 3
    Poopyman says:

    “The fun for me is when people come in and don’t recognize me.”

    Or maybe they recognize you but really don’t want to be associated with you. Asshole.

  4. 4
    Scott P. says:

    But see, there were no black people at the party, so that makes it 100% okay.

  5. 5
    JWL says:

    If I were Jesse Jackson, I’d now consider myself even with those folks who righteously resented his Hymie Town crack.

  6. 6
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    I find it interesting that gays have co-opted almost every word used against them, rendering them ineffective, yet neither side will give up the emotional attachment of the n-word.

  7. 7
    General Stuck says:

    You know who else did blackface?

  8. 8
    NonyNony says:

    @JWL:

    If I were Jesse Jackson, I’d now consider myself even with those folks who righteously resented his Hymie Town crack.

    Two dick moves don’t make a right.

    But – wow. What kind of a sheltered life does a politician in New York City have to live where he not only doesn’t know that putting on blackface is wrong (and bad PR besides) but nobody around him pulls him aside and says “uh, Dov? Yeah – not a good idea.”

  9. 9
    Ash Can says:

    In this day and age of Weiner’s wiener ending up all over the national and international media when his private text messages were leaked, this idiot needs to understand that the private actions of a public person are never guaranteed to be completely and forever private, and that assholish behavior is not going to stay behind closed doors. He deserves every bit of the smacking down he’s going to get for this.

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): lolwut

  10. 10
    scav says:

    someone gave me the hair of the actual, you know, sort of a black basketball player.

    Somehow that almost sounds as though he’s wearing the scalp of the quick backtrack, there do seem to be more of them, black basketball players.

    Racist in his soul of souls or not can be argued about. Bottom line is, politically and socially dim.

    FYI for Political Dummies, clothing sub-section (abridged)
    ° Wear Flag Pin.
    ° Don’t Wear Blackface
    ° Do Wear Underpants.
    ° Don’t Wear Diapers.

    All above rules doubly important when tweeting.

  11. 11

    I don’t think that “post-racism” means what people think it means. Most people seem to think that it means that all the jokes they wanted to make but didn’t have the stones to make are now suddenly OK. The other problem is that we haven’t achieved any sort of post-racism society.

  12. 12
    poco says:

    Dov Hikind is the same asshole who was leading the protests against Brooklyn College for daring to have Butler and Barghouti speak. An asshole in every sphere.

  13. 13
    Trinity says:

    Speechless.

  14. 14
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    The assemblyman, Dov Hikind, a Democrat who has been a longtime power broker in the Orthodox Jewish community, wore an Afro wig, orange jersey, sunglasses and brown makeup or face paint as part of a costume that Mr. Hikind said represented a “black basketball player.”

    Can’t think of any teams that wear orange jerseys. Plus, where was the basketball? Not like thy’re that hard to find.

    You of course do know who wears orange jerseys. Prisoners.

    Ha ha ha. Such a japester.

  15. 15
    BGinCHI says:

    Guy still can’t jump.

  16. 16
    Pooh says:

    There should be a flow chart for white people publicly using the N-Word. It has one step, “Are you Louis C-K?”

  17. 17
  18. 18
    Poopyman says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: Syracuse, for one.

  19. 19
    General Stuck says:

    OT

    Another sign of impending right wing psychosis.

    Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) accused Obama of trying to make support for his position look stronger than it really is by flooding Twitter with messages from people who don’t exist.

    “Obama’s anti-gun campaign is a fraud,” Stockman said. “Obama’s supporters are panicking and willing to do anything to create the appearance of popular support, even if it means trying to defraud Congress,” he added. “I call upon the president to denounce this phony spam campaign.

    That’s right. Those majority of votes for Obama were fake, so is his approval numbers right now. Not to mention over whelming support for more gun control. You guessed it. fake fakety fake fake.

    If I was you wingnut, I’d check the shitter for splosives. Something ain’t right /

    Could this be TWITTER ENVY?

  20. 20
    Scott P. says:

    Can’t think of any teams that wear orange jerseys.

    I assume it was a NY Knicks alternate jersey:

    http://bleacherreport.com/arti.....good-taste

  21. 21

    @scav: Phoenix Suns wear orange jerseys from time to time. The NY Knicks too.
    ETA: Cleveland Cavs as well.

  22. 22

    He added, “The fun for me is when people come in and don’t recognize me.”

    And I’m sure you’d be equally understanding if someone dressed in a yarmulke, put on an exaggerated nose, carried about a copy of the protocols of Zion, and maybe a hammer and a set of nails for good measure?

  23. 23
    MomSense says:

    HOLY CRAP Michelle Malkin tried to spoof the evolution of Mom dancing… http://tbogg.firedoglake.com/2.....-i-wobble/

  24. 24
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @General Stuck:

    Stockman is a well known mental case, who belongs in a padded cell, not in Congress. He served one term in the 90’s, was deemed too fucking crazy by Gingrich standards, and only came back last year when the general level of crazy in the GOP caught up with him.

  25. 25
    Carnacki says:

    What. The. Fuck?

  26. 26
    Maude says:

    This isn’t going over well in Brooklyn. At all.

  27. 27
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Comrade Dread:

    He should have just sported a toothbrush moustache and worn a brown suit, ideally one with a mid 20th century German military cut. That should have done the trick.

  28. 28
    Kylroy says:

    Dennis Rodman (of all people) gave a pretty good run down on when white folks are allowed to use the N word (paraphrasing here): If you’ve been teammates with a black guy for years, and you get along well and really respect each other, you MAY have N word priveleges with that person ONLY. Any other situation? No.

  29. 29
    jibeaux says:

    Okay, I’ve got no excuses for that guy, but I am still following knitterplease on twitter just for her name, and I am NOT apologizing for it. I LIKE KNITTING.

  30. 30
    lamh35 says:

    SMDH!

    A little OT, but I love how civil this post conversation is going. I can’t help but think it this was an ABL thread, then the usual subjects will be doing their usual dance like they did in the Lampenelli thread that ABL posted.

  31. 31
    BGinCHI says:

    @Pooh: For the win.

  32. 32
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @lamh35:

    Good. I’m not the only person who noticed the conspicuous absence of the usual suspects.

  33. 33
    jibeaux says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: I admittedly don’t follow the pros, but I don’t think I’ve seen any Afros in college ball either.

  34. 34
    jibeaux says:

    @Pooh: Agree.
    That bit is funny, in part because it just turns on a different meaning entirely.

  35. 35
    Amir Khalid says:

    @lamh35:
    I’m kind of wondering when a certain artistically inclined commenter will show up to denounce John Cole as a racist, for saying that white people don’t get to use the N-word.

  36. 36
    dr. bloor says:

    Hikind is a career asshole. No one who has seen him in action for three nanoseconds should be surprised, which means his costume probably didn’t fool anyone at all.

  37. 37
    tones says:

    unbelievable,but not a surprise.

    The amazing over-use of weasel words, though:

    I was just, I think, I was trying to emulate, you know, maybe some of these basketball players,” Mr. Hikind told The New York Observer. “Someone gave me a uniform, someone gave me the hair of the actual, you know, sort of a black basketball player.”

  38. 38
    bg says:

    As a Jew it makes me especially crazy when a Jewish person does something like this, fomenting disrespect between two minority groups who know something about opporession. He should have known better. My fear is that he really does.

  39. 39
    ricky says:

    And now official Census forms will be dropping the word Negro. The pace of change is just astonishing.

  40. 40
    red dog says:

    Would this be an OK costume on halloween for a non politician ??? Just wondering

  41. 41
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Ash Can: I find the dynamic over the n-word interesting, if quite a bit annoying. It’s a word that should really just disappear. I understand why blacks want to own the word: It has been used against them for so long. But it’s childish why some whites think they need to be able to use the word.

  42. 42
    RaflW says:

    O.T., except that it involves a lot of idiots, Italy is in electoral chaos, and early reports suggest the Euro is again (still?!) in trouble. So this would be a perfect time for American Republicans to fuck up the U.S. economy.

    Global recession, part the 2nd is now being authored by Eric Cantor, the tan drunk, and 100 of their moronic, dangerous accomplices.

    Congratulations, fukwads.

  43. 43
    Jon says:

    But freedumb!

  44. 44
    Ash Can says:

    @red dog: I think John covered that with his “this is never, ever, ever acceptable” bit.

  45. 45
    Ruckus says:

    @General Stuck:
    He needs to check his toothpaste for explosives.

  46. 46
    Poopyman says:

    BTW, Thers has more, including a pic. Looks like we were being generous by calling him “asshole”.

  47. 47
    Ash Can says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    But it’s childish why some whites think they need to be able to use the word.

    OK, I see, and yes, I agree. If it’s not proper to use, it’s not proper to use. It ain’t rocket science. A white thinking s/he should be able to use it exactly the way a black does is just being rude.

  48. 48
    Amir Khalid says:

    On the subject of insensitivity: The Daily Beast’s David Freedlander wonders why The Onion thought it should apologise for calling a nine-year-old girl a c-word.
    (Caution: link to you-know-where.)

  49. 49
    Ruckus says:

    @red dog:
    A Halloween(or any time really) costume is supposed to be funny or scary. A white person dressed as caricature of a black person is most assuredly not either.
    Not directed at you but after all these years of exposure it seems that all the white people should have gotten the memo. Maybe they are just socially tone deaf. No, I don’t think that’s it, I’m going to go with racist.

  50. 50
    Tonybrown74 says:

    Oy …

  51. 51
    Gex says:

    I hate this thing that (some) white guys do where they first get to load these words with hate and pain to abuse minority groups. Then, when white guys become just a little more civilized and recognize those groups as people, they still insist on being the bosses of everyone and they command minority groups to stop hearing it the way it used to be said. Basically, they assume that they should get to dictate how things are because they are white men and we best fall in line.

    I don’t know how many “gay friendly” people I’ve had to explain this to when they use gay or fag as an insult or a punchline. You don’t get to tell me how to feel about it. And, if I’ve heard it a hundred times today in a negative context, I’m not going to laugh at the 101st time just because you demand it.

  52. 52
    👽 Martin says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    I understand why blacks want to own the word: It has been used against them for so long. But it’s childish why some whites think they need to be able to use the word.

    Well, the word can’t be neutered until whites can (appropriately) use the word. That’s sorta how we all know that we’re there. And we’re never going to get there if Quentin Tarantino and others can’t write it into their works. You can’t defuse a word by attaching so much power to it that it cannot be uttered. Did nobody fucking read Harry Potter around here?

    But I also have to agree with Louis C.K. If you’re going to say ‘n-word’, then just fucking say ‘nigger’. It’s not like the reader doesn’t hear the word when you do the little ‘n-word’ stunt, you’re just trying to give yourself a little extra cover. Instead, nut up and take the heat if you use it wrong and offend people instead of giving yourself some cheap-ass out.

    See, white guy just said ‘nigger’. Twice. Y’all can flame me later after you come to on your fainting couch.

  53. 53
    ruemara says:

    Not to condemn a whole group, but a surprising amount of Hasidic and orthodox Jews have some serious anti-black feelings. I got to work with a number in my diamond district days and went to school a few. I mean, they liked me, but it got irritating to be known as “the nice, quiet, smart black girl”, because there’s a lot more than one. But there were some in the district that would not allow my boss to send me for diamonds. It’s an inter-cultural issue that isn’t explored and in the context of that sort of thread of bigotry, kinda makes this horrible but not that surprising. Which is why the fact that his district is mostly orthodox is mentioned.

  54. 54
    Tonybrown74 says:

    @Gex:

    Pretty much this.

    I feel like this should be a real product.

    Because this shit is giving me a headache right now.

  55. 55
    handsmile says:

    I’m hard-pressed to think of another New York City politician whose electoral seat is more secure than that of Assemblyman Dov Hikind.

    dr. bloor above (#36) succinctly summarized Hikind’s long-standing career achievement: asshole. But he’s close to untouchable, particularly in a year with a mayoral race.

  56. 56
    gelfling545 says:

    Someone gave me a uniform, someone gave me the hair

    It would have been nice if someone could have given him a clue. The worst thing is he just doesn’t seem to get just why this is offensive.

  57. 57
    LAC says:

    @Gex: Amen! I beginning to think that someday, in Washington, there is going to be a million man march, sponsored by Dockers, with white guys demanding the right to use those words. The most pressing thing for them: not poverty, but “I really don’t understand why I can’t say ‘Nigger’. You people do. And by the way, I have black friends, okay?”

  58. 58
    Hob says:

    @bg: I take it you’re not familiar with Dov Hikind’s career. It’s really, really, really not a matter of him not understanding that he’s being inappropriate. The Wikipedia article on him provides some highlights.

  59. 59
    Goblue72 says:

    @ruemara: the racial tensions that led to the Crown Heights riots may have lessened over the years, but they certainly still exist

  60. 60
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    I understand why blacks want to own the word: It has been used against them for so long.

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): They need to stop using “nigger” too.

    It’s a word that doesn’t belong in society. I don’t care who you are. Same goes for gay people calling each other “faggot”. It’s uncouth, impolite and offensive and these words have no place in respectful interpersonal discourse.

  61. 61
    Jay C says:

    @ruemara: @handsmile:

    Not to condemn a whole group, but a surprising amount of Hasidic and orthodox Jews have some serious anti-black feelings

    Gee, ya think? These are people who will gladly write off whole populations of other Jews who don’t meet their obsessionistic religious standards as unworthy to touch: still less other ethnicities. And these are Dov Hikind’s “base” (and have been for decades). Yet his longevity in office (as local Assemblyman, he hasn’t been, and won’t ever be, able to move up) is as assured as is, say, Charlie Rangel’s in Harlem. Oh well….

  62. 62
    Darkrose says:

    His blog post “It’s a Purim thing; you wouldn’t understand” is…wow…

  63. 63
    quannlace says:

    I saw a photo of this dink. A basketball player? Hardly. He looked like a slightly frowsy Diana Ross, if you squinted your eyes.
    **********

    It still amazes me that full-blown Minstrel shows were still popular entertainment into the 1930-40’s

  64. 64
    AnonPhenom says:

    @tones:

    The amazing over-use of weasel words, though:
    I was just, I think, I was trying to emulate, you know, maybe some of these basketball players,” Mr. Hikind told The New York Observer. “Someone gave me a uniform, someone gave me the hair of the actual, you know, sort of a black basketball player.”

    Or alternativly, close your eyes and imagine the vocal stylings of the late Ed Koch?

    It could just, i think, maybe, you know, be the way some people from a particular background or neighborhood, might possibly choose to, em, you know express themselves?

  65. 65
    AnonPhenom says:

    Wait. Ed Koch … Woody Allen

  66. 66
    GregB says:

    Post racial America means to many white folks a world where they can tell racist jokes and still get to get offended if someone mocks them because of their race.

    Dr. Laura and the rest of these shitheels who’s lives are so much more empty because they simply can’t run around using ni**er as an epithet need to deal with this in the same way Germans don’t get to run around making Hitler jokes and wearing Nazi costumes.

  67. 67
    handsmile says:

    @Jay C:

    A finicky correction: While Charlie Rangel has coasted to overwhelming victories in the general election, in recent years he’s had quite a struggle against Democratic primary challengers. In 2012, he beat a NY State Senator by less than a thousand votes and the closeness of the tally took weeks to resolve.

    Hikind, on the other hand, has not encountered a serious primary or general election opponent for many years, and is now in his 30th year as a State Assemblyman from Brooklyn.

  68. 68
    JoyfulA says:

    @JWL: I always wondered if that was spelled Jaime Town.

  69. 69
    karen says:

    As a Jewish person, I’m very ashamed of this NY assemblyman and I’m not even a New Yorker anymore. I’m offended that he did this to celebrate Purim.

  70. 70
    karen says:

    @Darkrose:

    Please tell me you’re joking.

  71. 71
    PurpleGirl says:

    Granted I don’t watch or follow basketball much, but shouldn’t Hikind have been bald or have a faze razored into close-cut hair and maybe had an arm’s length of tattos…

  72. 72
  73. 73
    Heliopause says:

    In case it hasn’t been brought up in comments yet, Hikind was one of the assholes threatening Brooklyn College a couple of weeks ago for hosting a pair of BDS speakers.

  74. 74
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    When a Jewish friend of mine (a fellow Army officer) talked about how he should have “jewed someone down” I was totally blown away. I would never use that word in that meaning, but he did, and seemed to be totally casual with it. I didn’t say anything, but I think he noticed my reaction and, in a strange way, approved of it and was, in effect, testing me. I passed the test.

  75. 75
    jefft452 says:

    “The fun for me is when people come in and don’t recognize me.”

    Oh, we recognize you Dov, we’ve always known exactly who and what you are

  76. 76
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @jefft452:

    Precisely, because he endorsed the deserting coward, Grampa Walnuts, and the Marquis du Mittens.

    He’s dogshit.

  77. 77
    cokane says:

    i think louis ck does an okay job using the word to his advantage. helps when you have the assured street cred of not being a racist.

    politicians should just know better.

  78. 78
    kc says:

    @bg:

    As a Jew it makes me especially crazy when a Jewish person does something like this

    As a white South Carolinian, I’m relieved it wasn’t one of our local politicians . . .

  79. 79
    Interrobang says:

    The part of me that grew up around smug WASP white supremacists (really) wants to say “Since when are Jews ‘white’, anyway?” The rest of me isn’t surprised; the guy sounds like 200 pounds of asshole steaks on the hoof.

    For what it’s worth, even the smug WASP white supremacists I know wouldn’t do anything like that. For one thing, it’s too overt, and for another, it’s kind of declasse, and we have standards, you know…

    Sheesh.

  80. 80
    Head and Tellin' says:

    Isn’t it a bit racist to point out that a white person is being racist?

  81. 81
    lojasmo says:

    Goddamnit in moderation for spoofing the dickhead.

  82. 82
    Hattie says:

    Well, go listen to Lenny Bruce on the subject. It’s on you tube. Jackson could have used the word Bruce uses in the clip, but he didn’t.

  83. 83
    El Cid says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: It took me a long time to grasp that the “jewed” usage was indeed commonly used by people in an expression, out loud, and not a mistaken version of “jawed” or “chewed”.

  84. 84
    Pee Cee says:

    @kc:

    We leave that to our college students instead.

  85. 85
    El Cid says:

    I have to admit, though, there are so many occasions I’m convinced would be a perfect time for me to dress up in blackface and afro — it’s just that since I never feel sure, I haven’t done it yet.

    Maybe someday it will be the right time, since obviously we only hear about the cases of white / whitish people dressing up in blackface and afros and whatnot when it’s inappropriate.

    Why don’t we hear about all the appropriate uses of blackface and afros by white / whitish people?

  86. 86
    Roy G. says:

    I’m sure this seems very innocuous… if the baseline is how Palestinians are treated in Israel.

  87. 87
  88. 88
    Another Halocene Human says:

    Malcolm X would have had some choice words for Mr. Hikind.

  89. 89
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @El Cid: Seems common in the rural South. Reamed a colleague for using that term last week. My wife is in sales (and Jewish) and hears it too often. (Her comeback is to talk about “Protestanting” them down.)

  90. 90
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Interrobang: You must not have heard of frat boys in the South.

    This past Halloween had a number of incidents. Much drama on Facebook. Wanted to unfriend some people I know IRL. Grrr.

  91. 91
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @handsmile: Hikind, on the other hand, has not encountered a serious primary or general election opponent for many years, and is now in his 30th year as a State Assemblyman from Brooklyn.

    Does his district include the Brooklyn Ultra-Orthodox communities? If so, this incident will not hurt him with his constituents, sad to say.

    ETA: @Jay C: Asked and answered, I guess. Need to stop reading threads backwards!

  92. 92
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: Forget impolite, like ‘faggot’ it reinforces a negative self and group image and negatively impacts notions of self worth and potential.

    Where does this myth come from that anyone is taking the n-word back? Not from community activists, who campaign against that kind of language. It’s a term used to mean poor men, men who can’t make a living, men in prison, gang members, “punks” (ie, men who are subordinate to other men in a hierarchy), or generally the ignorant, the poor, thieves, those who are too flamboyantly poor, etc.

    In the 1990s a young group of GLBT activists set out to reclaim the term queer and succeeded, mainly because it took off like a brushfire in academia (while it was kind of on the wane for gay bashers, who for some reason liked the sound of “homo”). There was also an attempt to “reclaim” (really “claim” because it never had a positive meaning) faggot, as well as dyke (which began as a positive term), but it seems as gays and lesbians have become more accepted use of both terms has plummeted (they were never popular with allies).

    One barometer–Dan Savage used to open his columns with “Hey Faggot” and he used to call heterosexuals “breeders”. How many years has that been now?

    I think if economic opportunities and social equality opened up for the African-American population that use of the n-word would plummet as well. Its resurgence, if you can call it that, is due to Reaganomics, and it will wane if we can ever rein in the US’ Gini index.

  93. 93
    jshooper says:

    Jane approves

  94. 94
    karen says:

    @El Cid:

    I have green eyes and I’m a brunette with a lot of freckles. People think I don’t look like their stereotype of what a Jewish person looks like. When they use the expression “Jew the seller down” they’re no longer my friends. The same for any of my friends who use the N word.

  95. 95

    […] Dear Whites Like Me (balloon-juice.com) […]

  96. 96
    Splitting Image says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    Forget impolite, like ‘faggot’ it reinforces a negative self and group image and negatively impacts notions of self worth and potential.

    I was going to post something similar but this comment basically sums it up.

    The thing about “faggot” is that it still carries the negative connotation of “girly-man” that the words “gay” and “queer” have mostly escaped. That way a homosexual man can use it to weigh in against men who are excessively feminine and not manly-men like himself. Which in turn allows gay men to be completely misogynist and/or transphobic while railing against persecution of gays. (cf. Andrew Sullivan)

    I could see “nigger” being “reclaimed” in pretty much the same way: used by an emerging class of black Republicans and libertarians to distinguish themselves from blacks who remain “moochers” (ie. Members of the Democratic party).

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