Rachael Kirkconnell is ready to really speak out about the reality TV racism controversy of which she’s been at the center.
The Bachelor contestant, who is currently competing for leading man Matt James‘ final rose as the show continues to air weekly, took to Instagram on Thursday to respond to the backlash that first began two weeks ago after old photos of her at an “antebellum plantation-themed” fraternity formal went viral online.
In her posted video, which is more than seven minutes along, Kirkconnell noted how she’s “gotten a lot of messages” over the last few weeks from people showing their support and others calling her out. But she was troubled in particular by one series of messages — from people claiming that she did nothing wrong. The reality TV contestant said (below):
“There’s also people messaging me saying ‘You know, you’ve done nothing wrong, don’t listen to people.’ I think that the first big step in all of this is white people stepping up and taking accountability. Things will never change if we don’t all work together in working towards this racial progress and this unity that we want … I’m done waiting around for the time to speak, and I’m done hiding from all this. I’ve come to realize that sitting aside and hiding in the corner and, you know, avoid[ing] being called performative — that doesn’t help anyone or anything. Even if that is what people think when I speak on these subjects of injustice and racism, you know, that’s not what really matters.”
That’s actually a really great point — whether truly altruistic or just performative, if Rachael continues to share information and highlight resources towards dismantling white privilege, doesn’t that make society better? She went on from there, asking people to stop defending her and instead help “shine a light on these issues,” as you can see (below):
“This entire movement in where we are in this country, it’s just so much bigger than this. 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 and do what I can to you know take a step in the right direction. 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. That’s not our place to tell people what they can and can’t be offended about. That’s wrong and that’s part of the problem. So please stop saying that I did nothing wrong. That’s not true.”
Owning it! You can watch Rachael’s full video (below):
In addition to that video, throughout the day on Thursday, Kirkconnell shared links to BIPOC resources and individuals on her Instagram Stories in a bid to amplify the voices of those from whom we all need to hear. At one point, she added this uplifting slide to her Stories as an explainer:
Talk about a major step forward and a big sign of personal growth for somebody who just a few weeks ago was caught up in quite the nasty scandal. Considering she’s a frontrunner on the show, it would really benefit her to come out on social media to take this stance. But are you seeing right through it? Or do you feel she’s being completely genuine?
Reactions, Perezcious readers? What’d U think of Rachael’s video message? Share your opinions with us down in the comments (below)!
[Image via Rachael Kirkconnell/Instagram]