Just as Matt James’ historic season of The Bachelor began, Rachael Kirkconnell was accused of racism.
A former classmate alleged that Rachael was a racist bully in high school.
Now, according to horrified fans on social media, this barely scratched the surface.
In a detailed breakdown, Rachael’s history is laid bare. What does Matt James think about all of this?
Early in January, the entire Bachelor Nation heard that Rachael allegedly used to bully white peers who liked Black guys.
If true, it’s worrisome, but many noted at the time that appalling behavior as a minor is not the same as being an adult bigot.
Additionally, others noted that anyone who goes on television can become a target for an old classmate with a grudge, so one accusation might not mean much.
Since then, Bachelor fans curious to know Rachael’s true character have poured over social media.
After all, we learned years ago that sometimes, people with attractive smiles can harbor disgusting bigotry — as with Garrett Yrigoyen.
Red flags quickly emerged, including that Rachael had recently purged a lot content that she knew would reflect poorly upon her.
Just a few days ago, a TikTok user by the handle of feministmama posted an amazing one-minute rundown of everything that we know about Rachael.
To start, the informative short video, which we have included here, shows that Rachael’s "likes" have included appalling racist content.
The Confederate Flag is a symbol of white supremacy, to the point where Europeans in countries where flying the Swastika will get them jailed use the Stars and Bars as a stand-in.
Speaking of liking racist photos, Rachael also "liked" photos of disgusting racist costumes. Folks, cultures are not costumes.
Different people use the "like" function in different ways, but very few click "like" on something that they recognize as detestable.
Keep in mind that it was a series of vicious bigoted memes that Garrett "liked" that turned fans’ opinions of him upside down.
Of course, an outfit doesn’t have to reduce an entire culture of millions of people to a harmful caricature to be racist.
It looks like Rachael likes seeing selfies of her Trump-supporting friends wearing their MAGA hats.
MAGA hats are a favored symbol of white nationalists, and pretending that this isn’t relevant to her moral character or to her candidacy to marry Matt James would be foolish.
Even without everything else, it appears that the Cumming, Georgia (yes, that is really the name) resident has not voted.
Not in 2018, 2016, 2014, or 2012. Missing one election due to a family emergency, we get. Missing four in a row? That would be a red flag all by itself.
The one nice thing that we can say is that, given everything else fans have seen about Rachael, maybe it’s better if she doesn’t vote.
It appears that Rachael’s mother is a supporter of Christian Dominionists, also known as Christian Nationalists.
The issue is not that these candidates are Republicans, necessarily, but that they want to take their own personal religious laws and make them actual laws.
That wouldn’t just be a violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment — it’s an existential threat to any Americans who either aren’t Christians or who don’t live according to biblical laws.
Meanwhile, Rachael’s father’s social media activity appears to make him a Trump supporter. Not a "regular" Republican, but a Trump supporter and donor.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s racist — just that he’s okay with racism and supporting a racist.
Of course, his weird social media comments about beachgoers in the Dominican Republic are raising eyebrows all by themselves.
It also looks like he hates poor people, so that’s its own nightmare.
Obviously, many people have awful parents with terrible beliefs without being toxic themselves. We are not defined by our parents.
But this could be very relevant if these people are to be Matt James’ in-laws. And if Rachael isn’t racist, she should of course reject her parents’ views.
By the way, it no longer appears that the young woman who accuses Rachael of bullying her for liking Black guys was alone.
On social media, a number of women have come forward to say that they had this specific experience with Rachael.
And Rachael’s friend who tried to defend her … also uses the N-word.
It’s not just about Rachael’s high school years or her parents, though — because it’s not clear that anything has changed.
She has shared straight-up QAnon conspiracy theories from far right propaganda machine Prager U.
And Rachael’s Instagram was formerly filled with over-the-top pro-police, "blue lives" content … until she purged it right before appearing on television.
Apparently "liking" photos of people cartoonishly mocking Mexican culture isn’t enough — Rachael had to get in on some costume action herself.
Specifically, it appears that she and her whole family like to do this.
If this were done in 1988, we’d be like "well, this was wrong, but we understand not knowing that." But her mom is still trying to defend it online. Ma’am, take the L.
The Bachelor Nation is abuzz with all that fans have learned.
Accusations are of course mixed with racists jumping to Rachael’s defense while some question whether all of these pieces of evidence add up to a racist or a girl who only knows awful people.
But to be clear, no one is saying that Rachael needs to be in jail or whatever — just that she, like everyone else, should be accountable for her actions. She’s a public figure.
Word of all of this has reached Matt James, who spoke to Entertainment Tonight delicately and within the confines of his contract.
"I have not spoken to anybody since the show ended," Matt began, "but I would say that you have to be really careful about what you are doing on social media."
"Rumors are dark and nasty and can ruin people’s lives," he warned.
"So I would give people the benefit of the doubt," Matt expressed, "and hopefully, she will have her time to speak on that."
"There’s a lot of stuff going around about the women that were involved in the show," he acknowledged.
"I would just give them a chance to kind of have their piece," Matt added, "whether that is someone who was gone night one or someone who went home last night."
Matt concluded by affirming: "Everyone has a story, and I would just be receptive to that."
That’s … not really saying much of anything except saying the sort of good-natured stuff that perfectly fits his brand.
Black reality stars have a special burden as public figures — multiple burdens, actually. It will be interesting to hear what Matt says when he can speak more freely.