“The Bachelor” Matt James Broke Up With Winner Rachael Kirkconell Over Her Racist Past

March 16, 2021 / Posted by:

The first season of The Bachelor franchise with a black male lead, 29-year-old Matt James, was a mess. The Antebellum party-past of one of the contestants, 24-year-old Rachael Kirlconnell, became a huge racial issue and when the host of the franchise, Chris Harrison, tried defending her, the backlash against him was swift and he’s taking a break from the franchise. And after all that, Matt picked Rachael during the finale last night. Then during the After The Final Rose special, Matt said that he dumped Rachael over her past racist posts. What a shitshow.

So to recap, Matt’s final choices were Rachael and 27-year-old Michelle Young. People says that during the whole episode, Matt was worried about marrying either of the women. He introduced both Rachael and Michelle to his mother, Patty James, who didn’t think he was going to end up engaged. Mama was right. Matt ended up dumping Michelle, who seemed pretty blindsided but Matt told Chris Harrison that he just wasn’t in love with her. Matt was supposed to meet with Rachael next but canceled their date because he wasn’t sure he was ready to propose to her. After thinking about it, Matt met up with Rachael and let her know that he’s not ready to be engaged to her but saw a future with her:

“I do see you as my wife. I see you as the mother of my kids.”

*Insert Rachel Dolezal joke here.* So they rode off in a horse-drawn carriage. But there was no happily ever after. The After The Final Rose special aired right after the finale, and it was hosted by Emmanuel Acho because Chris is on a timeout. During the special, Matt explained why he broke up with Rachael and it was a lot, saying he needed to “step back and allow her” to work on herself. As a reminder, Rachael had a history of attending Antebellum-style balls as recently as 2018. These “Antebellum plantation-themed balls” were part of a fraternity’s “Old South Week.” Rachael also liked a social media post of three girls posing with a confederate flag and liked several MAGA posts. Rachael apologized for the antebellum parties and said she didn’t understand the weight of them.

Matt admitted that he started to “question everything” when the controversy surrounding Rachael began — and didn’t initially want to believe the information coming out. But when it turned out to be true, the North Carolina native knew they needed to part ways. “If you don’t understand that something like that is problematic in 2018, there’s a lot of me that you won’t understand,” he said of the antebellum-themed party Rachael attended. “It’s as simple as that.”

YIKES, beyond. Rachael claimed she was shocked about Matt dumping her:

“I was very blindsided, but once that instant reaction went away, I thought about how strong I thought our relationship was. So for him to end things… he must’ve been very, very hurt by everything. It was hard because I lost the love of my life but in the process of that I hurt him while doing so. I love him so much and I always will.”

Matt then let Rachael know that her racist past was the reason why he dumped her:

“When I questioned our relationship, it was on the contexts of you not fully understanding my Blackness and what it means to be a Black man in America and what it would mean for our kids when I saw those things that were floating around the internet. And it broke my heart because this is the last conversation I thought we’d be having. I didn’t sign up to have this conversation. And I knew that I had to take a step back for you to put in that work that you outlined that you needed to do and that’s something that you’ve got to do on your own and that’s why we can’t be in a relationship.”

Though Matt confessed to Rachael that “the feelings that I have for you don’t go away overnight,” he stood firm on staying single. “The work and reconciliation that needs to be done is work that I can’t do for you,” Matt continued. “And I know that you’re capable of doing it.”

Here’s Matt explaining why he didn’t want to be with Rachael:

Chris Harrison has undergone racial education classes after he was called out for being tone-deaf when it comes to racial issues. So maybe Rachael can take those same night classes. And once Rachael graduates from anti-racism school, she can show Matt her certificate and get him back. Problem solved!

Pic: YouTube

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