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February 26, 2013

How Did Dov Hikind's Career Survive His Purim Blackface Gaffe? Thuggery And Lies, Say Democrat Insiders

Dov Hikind in blackface Purim 2013“Cross him and he’ll call you an anti-Semite and put you in the New York Post. In New York City politics, that’s something people are genuinely scared of and he plays it. … It’s like identity politics, mixed with money, mixed with intimidation.”

Dov Hikind in blackface Purim 2013
Dov Hikind, center, his wife, left, and son, right Purim 2013
Dov Hikind, center, his wife, left, and his adult son Yoni, right, Purim 2013

Politicker reports:

…[S]everal insiders we spoke with insisted Mr. Hikind was spared from a stronger reaction because of the unique power he wields on the local political scene.

One local political insider noted this isn’t the first time Mr. Hikind has courted controversy without facing lasting repercussions. In 2011, Mr. Hikind was one of the most vocal Democrats opposed to New York’s legalization of gay marriage. He bucked his party again this year when he suggested Jewish support for President Barack Obama was a “disease.”

“Can you imagine if somebody else had said that? What does that even mean right?” the insider said of Mr. Hikind’s comments on the presidential election. “People are not willing to stick up to him. Internally, everyone realizes he’s a dirtbag, we’re just not going to say that because that’s the game we play.”

A Brooklyn politico told us political figures running for citywide office are reluctant to take on Mr. Hikind because they fear “retribution” from a man who’s seen as “the gatekeeper of Orthodox Brooklyn.”

“If this were another Assemblyman what would happen here? A three-car pileup of city officials denouncing his actions,” they said of the costume incident before citing names of several elected officials who hadn’t weighed in on the flap.

The local political insider listed several factors as contributing to Mr. Hikind’s strength including his status as a perceived “kingmaker” in Brooklyn’s Orthodox community, his large war chest and his past association with the militant Jewish Defense League, which has been described by the FBI as “right-wing terrorist group.”

“It’s a number of things, one, he has created a perception that he is a power broker who can actually deliver and, in a city where fewer and fewer political machines are relevant, this hits home. People really are afraid to go up against him,” the insider said of Mr. Hikind. “Number two, he’s amassed an awful lot of campaign cash. … Thirdly, he’s like genuinely a scary dude. He’s connected with quasi-terrorist organizations that have been investigated by the FBI and he’s the kind of guy that can flip on you at any moment. He operates in this sort of mysterious, shadowy way up in Albany.”

Mr. Hikind’s Assembly district encompasses the neighborhoods of Borough Park and Midwood, two major components of the city’s Orthodox community. Last year, he was re-elected by defeating his lone opponent in the district 94 percent to six percent. He received over 19,000 votes in that effort, an impressive total in a city where the last mayoral election was decided by about 50,000 votes.

All of the sources we spoke with speculated the impression of Mr. Hikind as an influencer in the Orthodox community might be, as the Brooklyn politico put it, “overblown.” Indeed, some Orthodox insiders privately told us Mr. Hikind’s reputation as a power broker in the community is largely a myth because the younger generation of Orthodox Jews is less beholden to old institutional forces. However, the perception of Mr. Hikind  as a key Orthodox power player clearly persists on the political scene.

In addition to the idea Mr. Hikind influences a solid base in the Orthodox community, the insider described his role as a visible figurehead in the city’s wider Jewish community as a major source of his strength. Mr. Hikind hosts his own show on a local Jewish radio station and is always among the first and loudest officials to speak out on issues seen as affecting the community and instances of discrimination against Jews.

“He really does the Jewish thing very, very effectively,” said the insider. “Cross him and he’ll call you an anti-Semite and put you in the New York Post. In New York City politics, that’s something people are genuinely scared of and he plays it. … It’s like identity politics, mixed with money, mixed with intimidation.”…

Comments

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Cross him and he’ll call you an anti-Semite and put you in the New York Post

Makes no sense, the New York Post is for all intents and purposes an anti-emetic paper - an enemy from within. They are always the first to jump on any anti-Jewish story.

Plz Hikind hasn't been involved in anything remotely JDL in over 25 yr's and in fact proudly votes for ever freakin anti gun bill. With that said I do believe he's gonna look for a way to end his career on a high note...B/c 2-6 yr's from now the young generation will be the majority etc...

Excuse me, but all I see is his wife dressed like a demon, this disturbs me more. Imagine if your own mother dressed like this, chas veshalom!

The JDL connection is irrelevant to the politics. (It is relevant to judging Hikind's character).

Bill de Blasio wants to win against Quinn in the Democratic Primary for mayor. Ditto for Bill Thompson. Christine Quinn, who is associated with the Mayor, hopes Orthodox Jews stay home for the Democratic Primary, because they certainly won't be voting for her.

All of them have an interest in giving a soft landing to Hikind, or, at least, not inflaming the situation.

As a voter, this sucks. On the one hand, Quinn tacitly supports Stop and Frisk. On the other hand, de Blasio is beholden to the endorsement of a homophobic bigot.

But that is, and has always been, the reality of NY/NYC politics.

I think this episode speaks more of his lack of intelligence.

a really stupid move I do not think he did it to be hateful even thought it may be perceived that way

That dude Milhouse on crownheights.info is a jerk.It seems my comments are not being published over there.

"Internally, everyone realizes he’s a dirtbag, we’re just not going to say that because that’s the game we play.”

"political figures running for citywide office are reluctant to take on Mr. Hikind because they fear “retribution” from a man who’s seen as “the gatekeeper of Orthodox Brooklyn.”

Really!?

"Thirty one year old Yoni Hikind, a Brooklyn therapist, is heavily involved with Yeshiva Simchas Chaim, a school that serves at risk teens. The school is now in its third year and Assemblyman Hikind had nothing but praise for his son."
NEXT PURIM I'M GOING TO BE DRESSED AS A TEACHER FROM YONI'S SCHOOL WITH A PROSTEHTIC PENIS HANGING OUT AND WILL BRING A FEW YOUNG BOYS TO CHASE AROUND AND TRY TO SEXUALLY ASSAULT.
Sarah K

Hikind is to Jewish the way Sarah Palin is to women. I certainly don't want him to represent any group that I am a part of.

he was just trying to get Simone's attention...

Hikind has nothing to do with terrorism. This is just nonsense promulgated by Robert Friedman of the Nation. If you take him seriously you probably think Abbas is a holocaust scholar.

1. This is absurd. Anyone who knows anything about Purim knows that any costume goes ; crossdressing, women dressed as men & vice versa EVEN THOUGH THESE ARE AGAINST JEWISH LAW, BUT ON THAT DAY EVERYTHING IS NAHAPOCH HU! Hikind is loved by his constituents because he is a doer! He does not have a racist bone in his body.

2. No one in state govt. is as devoted to fairness and the community as he is. He did NOT make a mistake by dressing as a black basketball player. But let's play devil's advocate: assume he did. Doesn't all his MITZVOS for the KLALL far outweigh this costume!!

3. The fact that this is posted and reposted and some of the comments, makes me think about the blog and its denizens. Thought most are on a higher level.

Happy post Purim to all.

This whole thing is grossly overblown but it does give an insight to the extent that certain individuals live inside a hubris-filled bubble.

B"H

I don't think it was good judgement on Hikind's part because of the supercharged Politically Correct society we live in BUT...

Mayor Koch did something similar to this when he was Mayor of NYC.

He was told by black advisors that it was OK but then he got reemed by someone like Al Sharpton or Charlie Rangel or maybe another person etc.

Koch was LIVID that they hassled him about it.

Details are in his biography --

Must be a slow day at FailedM, when 4 out of the last 7 reports are the same story about Hikind's Purim costume.
Noone else is giving it SOOO much coverage.
we get your point, move on.

Posted by: Flatbusher | February 26, 2013 at 07:47 PM

Wow. That was a virtual blowjob more graphic than anything else I've seen on my unfiltered internet connection. You really should work in politics or write porn scripts.

Why is a Democrat using a Republican newspaper like the Post to get his criticism across?

Oh right, I forget that the Daily News actually endorsed Romney last fall, but it seemed a lukewarm endorsement anyway.

Nobody ever votes in these elections and the job sucks. That's why Hilkind will keep his job.
Vito Lopez in budhwick admitted to far worse behavior and he kept his job. Why should Hilkind be ashamed in comparison.

@Flatbusher
"Hikind is loved by his constituents because he is a doer! He does not have a racist bone in his body."

Being beloved as a member of the NYS assembly is, to understate it, only relative.

I don't care about Dov Hikind. I want to know what Bill de Blasio, Brad Lander, Yvette Clark or any of the rest of the Democratic Party of NYC giving Hikind a soft landing have to promise in order to get Hikind's endorsement.

This event was merely a reminder of the obvious: Dov Hikind is (to put it mildly) out of step with the Democratic Party. The whole Weprin/Turner affair was proof of this. This is merely a nice little reminder.

Why is the public advocate who wants to limit stop-and-frisk want the support of a shmoe in blackface who wants it increased?

@Simple Jew

You want to use Ed Koch to defend Dov Hikind? You want to turn back the clock to the riot days? Dumb.

B"H

Dan O. -- My point is that EVEN back then before we had 1st black president, etc etc 25 or 30 years ago .... Koch asked if "OK" and was told by blacks it was "OK" to do.

Then.... when he did other blacks said "Not OK- very offensive"

So... I think the question educated rational african american would ask themselves is "is Dov a friend or foe in general to our community?"

I am not an expert on NYC politics.

I don't know much about Hikind voting record to know if he is friend or perceived friend of AA community.

@Simple Jew

I don't know about this specific Koch incident (there were so many). But as to your question - "Is Dov a friend or foe in general..." that's, of course, fraught. He can be friend to black politicians, by giving them space to get things done, and foe, by supporting onerous policies like racial profiling.

The trouble is that Hikind brings up these divisions at all. He maintains an atmosphere of division that could explode.

To use one of Dov's own little ideas, should a law-abiding non-gun packing black person feel safe in Borough Park? Maybe to look at a used car... Is Borough Park the next Howard Beach? Dov is sending the message that black people are sub-human. One wonders.

Dov basically expressed a belief that's not dissimilar to what the antisemitic 3-train preacher expresses about Jews. He compares the other to the devil. Not good.

Come on. Politicians like Elliot Spitzer, Anthony Weiner, John Edwards, Bill Clinton, Schwarzzenegger, Mark Sanford, Larry Craig, Ted Haggard, John F. Kennedy do this all the time. Hikind's costume wasn't nearly as bad as what they did. Relax.

"Excuse me, but all I see is his wife dressed like a demon [...]"

Dressed like a demon? I thought that was just makeup.

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