Thursday, 7 March 2013

Racial Sensitivity in Costumes

This was originally meant to be posted the last time we were in the computer lab but apparently something went wrong when I posted it and when i went to see if there were any comments it wasnt there. So here is is again.

On February 25th, at a New York Purim (a Jewish holiday where people dress up) party, Jewish activist and politician Dov Hikind decided to go dressed up as a "basket ball player" with all the required elements: a jersey  a basketball, and black-face.

I originally heard about this story watching the comedy political news show The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and I thought it was a great example of the racial sensitivity in costumes we were talking about earlier this semester. Hikind is a politician who actively speaks out against racism, racial stereotypes, racial profiling, and yet he still dressed up in this way. Hikind's defence was "I can’t imagine anyone getting offended. You know, anyone who knows anything about Purim knows that ...people get dressed up in, you name it, you know, in every kind of dress-up imaginable". He apparently didn't intend any kind of disrespect but even today is has not issued a formal apology saying that he "is sorry people got offended", which is basically not an apology at all and since then black leaders have gotten together to call for his resignation from his office.


1 comment:

  1. Jack, I love how you found an example outside of our course discussions to bring into the course. I find it interesting that Hikind didn't (still doesn't?) understand the offence "black face" creates.

    I like how you picked up on the subtle difference in the way people people "apologize."