- Rachael Kirkconnell says she quit her sorority after its controversial antebellum-themed party.
- She said she was “completely ignorant” to the fact that it was “racist” when it happened in 2018.
- “I’m so ashamed that I basically participated in that unknowingly,” the “Bachelor” star revealed.
Rachael Kirkconnell said on Instagram Live Monday that she was “completely ignorant” to the “racist” nature of the 2018 antebellum-themed party she faced backlash over earlier this year. But she also revealed she’d actually quit her sorority after that event — years before the controversy that led to her split with “Bachelor” lead Matt James.
“I’m so ashamed that I basically participated in that unknowingly because I’m sitting here in my own little privileged, selfish world just thinking, ‘Oh, we just put dresses on to go take a photo op,'” the former “Bachelor” star said.
According to Kirkconnell, she “didn’t think anything about it because it didn’t affect me personally,” and admitted that she was “completely ignorant” to the party’s “racist” overtones.
“If I had to think about it at the time, I was probably just thinking, ‘OK, just some super traditional fraternity and they probably just want to continue the tradition of what they used to wear when the fraternity was founded,'” the reality star said.
Kirkconnell also revealed that the controversial party, as well as “a lot of other things about Greek life,” caused her to drop out of the organization, and that she deleted the pictures of herself at the event after realizing “that isn’t who I am or who I want to be.”
In February, Kirkconnell (who was the winner on James’ season of “The Bachelor”) faced controversy after photos of her at the 2018 event resurfaced on social media.
The pictures showed Kirkconnell wearing an antebellum-style plantation dress at a Kappa Alpha-hosted “Old South” party while she was a student at Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville, Georgia.
Former franchise host Chris Harrison subsequently gave an interview with the series’ first Black Bachelorette, Rachel Lindsay, in which he defended Kirkconnell from critics. Harrison later stepped down as host following more backlash.
Despite the controversy, Kirkconnell continued pursuing a relationship with James. After a brief separation, the two reconciled in April, with Kirkconnell vowing to educate herself on systemic racism and how to be antiracist.