‘Bachelor’ host Chris Harrison defending a racist contestant

‘Bachelor’ host Chris Harrison came under fire after an interview with Rachel Lindsay, on ‘The Extra’, defending one of the contestants, Rachel Kirkconnel’s racist past. Kirkconnell was photographed dressed as a Native American at a South Antebellum Plantation-themed fraternity formal in 2018, she liked racist posts, and shared QAnon conspiracy theories (that falsely claimed that former President Trump is facing down a shadowy cabal of Democratic pedophiles) online.

The Antebellum period was from the late 18th century until the start of the American Civil War, in 1861. During those years, societal standards were created establishing ideals of Southern white manhood and womanhood. The Antebellum parties of the Old South are celebrations of the Antebellum-era and the Confederacy. Attending these parties, or throwing one, is symbolizing and paying respect to the Confederate South and the violent racism of that era.

Here is the interaction between Harrison and Lindsay on ‘The Extra’ about the photos of Kirkconnell: 

Harrison: “Well, Rachel, is it a good look in 2018? Or, is it not a good look in 2021? Because there’s a big difference.”

Linsay: “It’s not a good look ever.” She added, “If I went to that party, what would I represent at that party?”

Harrison: “You’re 100 percent right in 2021. That was not the case in 2018. And again, I’m not defending Rachael. I just know that I don’t know, 50 million people did that in 2018. That was the type of party that a lot of people went to. And again, I’m not defending it. I didn’t go to it.”

After facing criticism about his comments. Harrison’s took to Twitter and Instagram the following day posting: 

“To my Bachelor Nation family — I will always own a mistake when I make one, so I am here to extend a sincere apology. I  have this incredible platform to speak about love, and yesterday I took a stance on topics about which I should have been better informed.”

The following day, after weeks of being silent, Kirkconnell apologized on her Instagram for not recognizing “how offensive and racist” her actions were. She wrote:

“I am sorry to the communities and individuals that my actions harmed and offended. I am ashamed of my lack of education, but it is no one’s responsibility to educate me”, She wrote, “If you are a person who doesn’t understand the offense in question, I urge you to learn from my mistakes and encourage you to use them as a teachable moment.”

The female contestants on the current season, the most diverse group of contestants in the franchise’s history, took a stand in support of Lindsay and condemned the defense of racism. 

“We are the women of ‘Bachelor’ Season 25,” the women posted. “Twenty-five women who identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) were cast on this historic season that was meant to represent change. We are deeply disappointed and want to make it clear that we denounce any defense of racism. Rachel Lindsay continued to advocate with grace” they added, “We stand with her, we hear her, and we advocate for change alongside her.”

After the backlash from Harrison’s interview, he announced in an Instagram and Twitter post that he will be stepping aside for a while to get educated on a more profound and productive level, and that also, he will not join the “After the Final Rose” special.

In the interview Harrison did with Lindsay, I think what he wanted was for everyone to give Kirkconnell a chance to speak out, but then he went on to defend her racist actions and said since it was back in 2018 her actions should be excused. Attending an Antebellum party is not a good look ever, and being in attendance at this kind of party is offensive and racist, even if it was 5 years ago.

Even though I think Kirkconnell’s apology was sincere, white people in her comments are excusing her behavior saying “You did nothing wrong” and that Lindsay is the one who should be apologizing. Due to the negative and racist messages that have been sent to Lindsay, the one who did Harrison interview, she has had to delete her Instagram.

When someone apologizes for their racist actions, or for saying the N-word, white people should not decide what was racist or accept the apology; the apology is not for you. Kirkconnell didn’t offend you, and instead of Kirkconnell being held accountable for her actions, Lindsay had to delete her Instagram because of the racist messages she received.

Kirkconnell is responsible for her actions and Harrison got himself fired, not Lindsay.

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