THE BACHELOR frontrunner Rachael Kirkconnell has been slammed by fans as “racist” after resurfaced photos of the star show her attending a controversial “Old South” party.
The reality contestant’s cousin, Anastasia, insisted Rachael is absolutely “not racist” during an exclusive interview with The Sun, though she called the photos “hard to defend.”
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The Bachelor contestant appeared to attend the troubling event at Georgia College & State University in 2018.
The star’s cousin, Anastasia, confirmed to The Sun that the photos are authentic, and admitted it’s “not a positive look.”
Anastasia explained that the party is “really an excuse for girls to put on pretty dresses and everyone get drunk in college, but that “only Rachael will be able to explain” and “take accountability for her own actions – and I’m confident she will when given the chance.”
She continued: “This party is not racially motivated but the core of the formal is what’s wrong and undeniable.
“[Rachael] was not intentionally racist but she understands that she messed up and hurt people. I don’t believe she is racist even after this coming to light but as a white woman that is not my call to make.”
The bash is described as an “antebellum plantation-themed ball” by the college fraternity that throws it, Kappa Alpha.
Kappa Alpha has been criticized as “racist” due to its embrace of Confederate General Robert E. Lee as its “spiritual leader.”
The Southern fraternity throws their annual bash during “Old South Week” – a popular event that has previously been held on plantations and used Confederate flags for decoration.
In one snap from the dance, the brunette graphic designer smiled for a selfie in a large pink Antebellum-style dress next to two friends in similar gowns.
She can also be seen in a large group photo with over two dozen ladies in various colorful ensembles.
While the photos circulating only feature women, men who attend “Old South” parties commonly wear costumes depicting Confederate soldiers and plantation owners.
Anastasia claimed that once Rachael learned of the “deeply ingrained racism in Greek life,” she dropped out of her sorority and was no longer affiliated during her senior year.
However, Bachelor Nation was quick to slam Rachael and the show’s production for her “racist” behavior and urged ABC to “research” contestants further.
One person tweeted: “I’m beyond frustrated that @BachelorABC doesn’t do thorough research on their contestants. Rachael seems to be ignorant/racist but they put her on the first black bachelors season. Not to mention rumors are swirling that he ended up picking her, which isn’t fair to him.”
“Hey @BachelorABC why were you so quick to cast a black bachelor in the height of BLM protests but are dead silent rn about your super f**king racist front runner Rachael?” Another asked.
Through the ongoing backlash, Rachael’s cousin claimed she has learned from her “ignorance” and will be coming forward with a statement soon.
Anastasia said: “Rachael absolutely feels bad about going to the party.
“She wasn’t aware of the history because the version they throw today is marketed as an old school party, not a confederate celebration. But her ignorance is a wasted excuse at this point.
“Rachael plans to make a statement about this and then look into advocating for better education about the microaggressions disguised as ‘tradition’ regarding confederacy in southern schools.”
However, she pointed out that ABC needs to approve the statement, so it’s unclear when she will publicly speak out.
In Instagram DMs between Anastasia and her cousin sent in June 2020 and obtained by The Sun, Rachael can be seen saying: “Don’t even get me started on the Confederate flag bulls**t!
“I truly don’t understand how you can’t understand what’s wrong with it!!!”
The Sun was able to verify that the exchange did happen last year – months before the recent backlash.
Another message allegedly showed Rachael advocating for the Minneapolis cops involved in the murder of George Floyd to be arrested.
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View more information: https://www.the-sun.com/entertainment/2284712/bachelor-rachael-kirkconnell-slammed-old-south-plantation-party-racist/