After photos of “Bachelor” suitress Rachael Kirkconnell at an antebellum plantation-themed fraternity gala surfaced, she’s been hit with backlash. On Thursday, she issued a post on Instagram to respond, admitting “I was wrong.”
She wrote: “At one point, I didn’t recognize how offensive and racist my actions were, but that doesn’t excuse them. 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.”
She continued by apologizing “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.”
She concluded by writing, “Racial progress and unity are impossible without (white) accountability, and I deserve to be held accountable for my actions,” she concluded. “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.”
On Wednesday, “Bachelor” host Chris Harrison took to Instagram to offer his own mea culpa after being hit with criticism for the way he handled his interview with her.
“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,” he wrote.