*”The Bachelor” contestant Rachael Kirkconnell – among the remaining three women currently competing for the heart of the franchise’s first-ever Black Bachelor, Matt James – has made a new video addressing the racial controversy surrounding her recent past.
Taking to Instagram, Kirkconnell addressed what has happened following her original apology statement, in which she admitted she was wrong and her “ignorance was racist” after photos surfaced of her attending an antebellum-themed “Old South” college party in 2018. A viral TikTok also showed Kirkconnell “liking” posts containing the Confederate flag and sharing QAnon conspiracy theories.
“Over the last few weeks, since I’ve put my statement out, I’ve gotten a lot of messages. I’ve gotten a lot of people asking me, ‘Well what have you done to change since then?’ and I’ve also had a lot of people message me saying that they aren’t understanding why people are so upset. But they want to and they’ve asked for resources, which I think is great. But then there’s also people messaging me saying, ‘You’ve done nothing wrong. Don’t listen to people.’ And I’m just tired of getting all of this and not saying anything,” the 24-year-old graphic designer said in the video.
She went on to explain that “the first big step” is “white people stepping up and taking accountability” because “things will never change if we don’t all work together in working towards this racial progress and this unity that we want.
Kirkconnell said that she is “learning and will continue to learn how to be antiracist.” But since then, she admits, “I’ve just been hesitant to post links and books and any resources because I don’t want people thinking that it’s performative or it’s not something that I truly stand by.
“I get it. I hear you. There are things out there that completely validate your opinions and your anger towards me. But I’ve come to realize that sitting aside and hiding in the corner and avoid being called performative, that doesn’t help anyone or anything,” she said, adding that people’s responses are not “what really matters.”
“This entire movement and where we are in this country is just so much bigger than this and I want and need to use my privilege and my platform that I so do not deserve just to shine a light on these issues and try to do what I can to take a step in the right direction.”
“The next televised opportunity for her to address the controversy would be at the live “After the Final Rose” finale, for which a host has not been named amid Harrison’s hiatus.
Watch Kirkconnell’s new video apology below, or here on Instagram:
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