AceShowbiz - "The Bachelor" contestant Rachael Kirkconnell has released a statement over her alleged racist behavior. Taking to her Instagram account on Thursday, February 11, Rachael issued an apology for exhibiting racist behavior in her past by attending a plantation-themed party.
"At one point, I didn't recognize how offensive and racist my actions were, but that doesn't excuse them," she admitted. "My age or when it happened does not excuse anything. They are not acceptable or okay in any sense. I was ignorant, but my ignorance was racist."
Rachael went on writing, "I am sorry to the communities and individuals that my actions harmed and offended. I am ashamed about my lack of education, but it is no one's responsibility to educate me. I am learning and will continue to learn how to be antiracist, because it's important to speak up in the moment and not after you're called out. 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."
Similarly, Rachael noted that she wanted "to put my energy towards preventing people from making the same offensive mistakes that I made in first place, and I hope I can prove this to you moving forward." Concluding her statement, she wrote, "I will never grow unless I recognize what I have done is wrong. I don't think one apology means that I deserve your forgiveness, but rather I hope I can earn your forgiveness through my future actions."
Meanwhile, the caption read, "*** my statement and apology is for the people of color that i have offended, if you do not identify as BIPOC then it is not your apology to accept or not. please be respectful to those who have been affected."
Her apology arrives just one day after "The Bachelor" host Chris Harrison showed remorse for defending Rachael in an interview with "The Bachelorette" alum Rachel Lindsay. "To my Bachelor Nation family -- I will always own a mistake when I make one, so I am here to extend a sincere apology," the 49-year-old wrote in a statement that he posted on Instagram.
He added, "What I now realize I have done is cause harm by wrongly speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism, and for that I am so deeply sorry. I also apologize to my friend Rachel Lindsay for not listening to her better on a topic she has a first-hand understanding of, and humbly thank the members of Bachelor Nation who have reached out to me to hold me accountable. I promise to do better."