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Rachael Kirkconnell, a contestant on this season of The Bachelor, has finally spoken out following weeks of controversy surrounding her past racist actions.

ABC's "The Bachelor" - Season 25

Source: Craig Sjodin / Getty

As the Cumming, Georgia native competes for the heart of Matt James–the franchise’s first-ever Black Bachelor--her past activities were brought to light on social media. Fans raised an eyebrow at The Bachelor star when evidence of the 24-year-old’s seemingly racist past began to emerge online. The internet gathered a laundry list of proof that showed Rachael liking pictures containing confederate flags, dressing in a costume as a Native American, and one photo of her from 2018 attending the “Kappa Alpha Order ‘Old South’ formal,” an antebellum plantation themed ball.

These allegations have been heating up for weeks now, but things finally came to a head this week when the show’s host, Chris Harrison, defended Rachael during an interview with former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay on Extra. His dismissal of Kirkconnell’s racist past resulted in a petition calling for his firing, which resulted in him issuing an apology, as well.

It seems the heat surrounding Harrison is what drove Kirkconnell to finally break her silence, posting an apology on Instagram and admitting her past actions were racist.

“While there have been rumors circulating, there have also been truths that have come to light that I need to address,” she began. “I hear you, and I’m here to say I was wrong.”

Rachael continued, writing, “At one point, I didn’t recognize how offensive and racist my actions were, but that doesn’t excuse them. My age of when it happened does not excuse anything. They are not acceptable or okay in any sense. I was ignorant, but my ignorance was racist.”

“I am sorry to the communities and individuals that my actions harmed and offended,” she wrote. “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 its 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, writing, “Racial progress and unity are impossible without (white) accountability, and I deserve to be held accountable for my actions…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.”

Man…wouldn’t want to be in Rachael’s shoes right now. What do YOU think of her apology? Does she deserve a second chance?

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