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New York lawmaker in hot water for blackface costume at party

A state assemblyman from Brooklyn, N.Y., wore blackface paint and an Afro wig to a costume party over the weekend, and says he "can't imagine anyone getting offended."  

The party was for the Jewish holiday Purim, a festive celebration often commemorated by dressing up.  

According to Politicker, Assemblyman Dov Hikind hosted a Purim party at his home over the weekend.  

A photo posted on Facebook by Hikind's 32-year-old son, Yoni Hikind, shows the lawmaker with a darkened face, wearing a black wig, sunglasses and what appears to be an orange jersey over a white t-shirt. The assemblyman's wife wore a devil costume.

The caption reads: "How cool are my folks... Lol" 

See the controversial photo at NBCNewYork.com

Dov Hikind told Politicker that he was "trying to emulate, you know, maybe some of these basketball players."

"Someone gave me a uniform, someone gave me the hair of the actual, you know, sort of a black basketball player,” Hikind said. “It was just a lot of fun. Everybody just had a very, very good time and every year I do something else. … The fun for me is when people come in and don’t recognize me.”  

Hikind said he couldn't imagine the costume bothering anyone.

“Purim, you know, everything goes and it’s all done with respect. No one is laughing, no one is mocking. No one walked in today and said, ‘Oh my God.’ … It’s all just in good fun with respect always, whatever anyone does it’s done with tremendous amounts of respect and with dignity, of course.”

By NBCNewYork.com staff