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Michael C. Carreiro, a Democratic candidate for a state Senate seat in Warwick, Rhode Island was recently exposed for wearing Blackface.
In a picture that was posted on Carreiro’s Facebook on July 19, 2009, Carreiro can be seen cosplaying as James Brown. “The photos you are referring to were taken at a 2009 themed event I attended dressed as the singer James Brown, I want to be clear that this was wrong. It was offensive and unacceptable — and I’m sorry,” Carreio told The Boston Globe in a written statement.
Carreiro explained how politicians and public officials often attempt to avoid blame and deflect criticism, but that he would not do the same.“That’s not me, I made a mistake 13 years ago, and I’m owning it. Events of recent years have exposed how much harm can be caused by these types of actions, and I very much understand that and I’ve learned from it,” Carreiro said.
The photos were recently brought back up to the public by Carreiro’s Democratic primary opponent, Jennifer T. Rourke. Rourke was recently in the news late June after being repeatedly punched in the face by police officer Jeann Lugo at an abortion rally. Lugo was also a Republican candidate in the same Senate race until he dropped out after video footage of the attack went viral.
Democratic state Senate candidate exposed for wearing Blackface in 2009
Rourke also went after her opponent in a Twitter thread when she shared a photo of Carreiro happily posing alongside controversial Fox News host Tucker Carlson and revealed that Carreiro liked a Facebook page called “support officer Darren Wilson”. Wilson is the police officer who shot unarmed 18-year-old, Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri.
“The picture of Michael Carreiro in Blackface, his adoration of Tucker Carlson, and his support for the police officer who shot Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, is deeply disturbing. This behavior should be disqualifying for anyone seeking positions of leadership. Michael Carreiro should withdraw his candidacy and resign from his leadership position in the firefighters’ union,” Rourke said during the state candidate filing period.
It is currently unknown if Carreiro plans to continue to run against Rourke or if his plans have changed. Declared candidates must submit nomination papers with the required number of signatures to their local board of canvassers by 4 p.m. July 15.