The Bachelor‘s frontrunner Rachael Kirkconnell is owning her past racial transgressions in a new Instagram video. She doesn’t want anyone to defend her past actions, which include going to an antebellum themed fraternity formal. The 24-year-old — who is competing for the heart of the first Black Bachelor Matt James — told fans in a seven and a half long Instagram video on Feb. 25, “This entire movement, and where we are in this country, it’s just so much bigger than this. And I want, and a need to use my privilege and my platform that I so do not deserve, just to shine a light on these issues, and try and do what I can to take a step in the right direction.”
Rachael continued, “And I keep trying to tell myself that this entire experience of what’s going on right now, was a blessing in disguise because, you know, maybe it can wake a lot of people up. And maybe it already has started to. And I think one of the most crucial parts to all of this is to talk to each other and to have these conversations and to have these uncomfortable conversations. And to learn to unlearn, and to do the work. We have so much work to do.”
“One more thing, if you are in my comments, or defending me anywhere, telling people that I did nothing wrong. That there’s nothing to be hurt about, there’s nothing to be angry about or offended about, please stop,” the Georgia College alum asked. “That’s not our place to tell people what they can and can’t be offended about, you know, that’s, that’s wrong. And that’s part of the problem.”
Rachael Kirkconnell, 24, has been the frontrunner in Matt James’ season of ‘The Bachelor.’ Photo credit: ABC.
“So please stop saying that I did nothing wrong. That’s not true. You know, if you really want to support me, then encourage me to do better and encourage those around you to do better, and to accept change and allow others to learn and grow. Because we need to work together on this if anything is going to change. And if you yourself, you know you’re not understanding this, then go on this journey with me. Just open your heart to learning, and to educating yourself on this,” Rachael pleaded.
Rachael Kirkconnell confesses some naughty thoughts to Matt James on ‘The Bachelor.’ Photo credit: ABC.
Rachael came under fire after photos of her emerged attending an antebellum-themed fraternity party in 2018 while a college student in Georgia, and “liking” racially charged Instagram posts. Show host Chris Harrison, 49, came to her defense early on during a Feb. 9 interview with the first Black Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay, 35, on Extra. Before Kirkconnell finally spoke on the issue on Feb. 11, Harrison said, “We all need to have a little grace, a little understanding, a little compassion” towards her, because people were “just tearing this girl’s life apart.”
Chris then asked, “Where is this lens were holding up and was that lens available and were we all looking through it in 2018? I don’t know.” When Lindsay explained that an Old South party was “not a good look,” Harrison asked, “Is it [not] a good look in 2018 or is it not a good look in 2021?…I’m not defending Rachael, I just know that 50 million people did that in 2018.” The longtime host has since stepped aside from his The Bachelor duties and will not be part of After the Final Rose show after issuing a lengthy and profuse apology. His long-term status with the franchise is still unclear.