‘I support him’: Regional council candidate defends brownface suit

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Social media photos from 2007 have surfaced showing a candidate for Chatham-Kent City Council in brownface which he describes as part of a Halloween costume depicting an al-Qaeda terrorist.

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Carson Warrener, 41, who is running for Ward 6 council, confirmed the photographs were of him but said it was “important to understand the context”.

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The Halloween event took place just six years after the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States, in which thousands of people were killed, he said. Al-Qaeda, the terror group responsible for the horrific attacks, was consistently mocked in mainstream media, including TV shows, movies and late-night comedy sketches, Warrener said.

“I dressed up as an al-Qaeda terrorist to make fun of this group,” the contestant said, noting that his costume included a fake bomb attached to his chest.

He added that the photos were taken in public at the Elephant’s Nest bar in Chatham town center on Halloween night.

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“I’m absolutely behind it,” Warrener said. “I was expressing my disgust and contempt for Al-Qaeda in 2007.”

Carson Warrener said he was expressing his contempt for the terrorist group Al-Qaeda when he dressed in this Halloween costume in 2007. Facebook photo
Carson Warrener said he was expressing his contempt for the terrorist group Al-Qaeda when he dressed in this Halloween costume in 2007. Facebook photo

Warrener stressed that he wouldn’t wear a similar costume at any other time of year, but said he thought Halloween was the right time and place to express his feelings about the terrorist group.

The Chatham-Kent Muslim Association declined to comment on Warrener’s costume. Officials with the The Muslim Association of Canada could not be reached for comment.

There have been previous reactions to social media photos of prominent politicians and celebrities wearing brown or black faces in older photos, including images of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wearing black faces and brown faces. about two decades ago.

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A photo of Trudeau wearing a brown face at an Arabian Nights gala in 2001 at a school where he taught was widely condemned as racist after being posted on Twitter in September 2021. Another photo later surfaced showing the prime minister wearing blackface during a high school talent show. To display.

In 2019, Trudeau admitted to reporters that he couldn’t remember how many times he wore black or brown makeup during his youth. The Liberal Party would see its majority government reduced to a minority government following a federal election on October 21, 2019.

Warrener said he wasn’t worried people would see the 15-year-old’s photo today. He was out in public in his costume, he added, so anyone could have taken a picture.

He noted that no one had raised any concerns about his costume or the photos in the past 15 years.

“I’m not worried,” Warrener said. “I own what I do in my life.”

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