One of the 25 Bachelor contestants this season, Rachael Kirkconnell, has a lot of grace up her sleeve. And an equal number of controversies as well.
She’s labeled as a racist by millions who watch the show, and the evidence that came forward is overwhelming.
Here’s everything that you need to know about Rachael, her life, childhood, and the recent tirade about bullying and racism.
Who Is Rachael Kirkconnell? Age, Bio, Childhood
Rachael Kirkconnell was born on September 26, 1996, in Cumming, Georgia, United States of America.
She is 24 years old today.
Although Rachael was born in Cumming, Georgia, she spent most of her childhood around suburbs that lay just outside of Atlanta.
Most people believe that Georgia is one of the most racist states in the United States. More on how this particular fact ties with Rachael later on.
Rachael grew up with her parents, younger brother, and sister.
Rachael’s father, Darrell Kirkconnell, and mother Kim Klosterman Kirkconnell taught Rachael to become her own individual and always encouraged her to express herself.
Darrell Kirkconnell and Kim Klosterman Kirkconnell. (facebook.com)
One of Kirkconnell’s best friends, who also happens to be her sister, Trinity Kirkconnell, is a professional dancer.
Rachael Kirkconnell with sister Trinity Kirkconnell. (instagram.com)
Her brother Greyson Kirkconnell, however, is a college student.
Rachael's father and brother Greyson Kirkconnell. (facebook.com)
Her brother plays football in school.
Rachael Kirkconnell’s Career and Education
Born in Georgia, Rachael completed her high school education in her hometown.
For further studies as well, Rachael decided to stay in her hometown. She joined Georgia College & State University.
At Georgia College & State University, Rachael began studying marketing and graduated in 2019.
However, before graduation, Rachael managed to get on Dean’s list twice. A Dean’s List essentially means that a student managed to get high grades during their academic term or year.
Although Kirkconnell sought education in marketing, after graduation, her interests shifted.
With knowledge about computers and designing, Rachael began working as a graphic designer.
At the moment, Rachael hasn’t revealed which organization she works at.
Why Rachael Joined The Bachelor?
Bagging the tall, dark, and handsome Matt James is one reason. But the real reason why Rachael joined the show is something else.
She’s here to find love for solely one reason. She hasn’t been in love, not even once in all the time she’s been walking this earth.
In an interview, Kirkconnell revealed that she’s a hopeless romantic who has never been in love.
“At the end of the day, love is what makes your life more special than others. Life can be hard and really difficult and dark at times, but if you have someone by your side that loves you more than they love themselves, that makes it all worth it in the end.”
From this statement, what Rachael wants is someone who can act as her confidant through the many ups and downs in her life.
Is Rachael Kirkconnell Racist?
There are a lot of discussions going on about Rachael and her actions that reflect a racist nature hidden away.
It all started when on January 4, when Maddy Bierster, a TikTok user who reportedly went high school with Rachael, claimed Rachael to be a racist.
Bierster captured a small scene of the Bachelor episode where Matt and Rachael sit together and wrote a caption that said,
“Girlieee, remember when you bullied me in high school for liking black guys???”
Allegedly, Rachael bullied Maddy in high school when she liked black guys. The irony here is that Rachael currently competes in a show to win a black guy’s heart.
Maddy’s claim via TikTok only stood out as a flick of the spark that caused a wildfire.
Since Maddy posted the short TikTok video with a racist allegation against Rachael, other people also spoke on that matter; people who were the victim of Rachael’s reported bullying actions.
The person who messaged Maddy on the matter said,
“She [Rachael] was openly racist to black people. (I remember her making remarks when they were trying to get into bars in Milledgeville about how “their kind isn’t allowed.”) She bullied half her pledge class, and a girl literally ended up dropping out because of her.”
The anonymous victim further continued,
“I was so close to posting my own video about her because I hate the fact she represented a school I went to. Unfortunately, she hasn’t changed. Her and her friend group were a big reason why I had to transfer schools. Thank you for making this issue come to light. I’m so sorry for the hate you’ve been receiving, but I genuinely appreciate you. Best.”
Another TikTok user called The Feminist Mama did further digging in this matter and served people with some more facts.
Reply to @lovelams #thebachelor♬ Quirky - Oleg Kirilkov
In a short-edited video, @feministmama talked about how Rachael attended an old south antebellum-themed party, posting pictures that are racially inappropriate.
Furthermore, the TikTok user also stalked Kirkconnell’s parents and talked about the family’s political standing as well.
The video has since gotten over 300k likes on TikTok.
Chris Harrison Left Bachelor
In a surprising turn of events, Chriss Harrison, the host who presented The Bachelor and its Spinoff since its inception in 2002.
In an interview with former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay via Extra, Chris discusses the allegations and defends Rachael in one way or the other.
While the February 10 interview is lengthy, the short version is that Chris Harrison does not agree with people making the allegation and supporting it as well.
Harrison said that people should not ship out verdicts before hearing Rachael’s side of th story.
Many people said that Harrison went on for 13 minutes on mindless drivel. Some agree with him.
All in all, this is what Harrison said,
“I haven’t talked to Rachael about it, and this is where we need to have a little grace...because I have seen some stuff online—this judge, jury, executioner thing—where they’re just tearing this girl’s life apart and diving into her parents and her parents’ voting record. It’s unbelievably alarming to watch this.
I haven’t heard Rachael speak on this yet, and until I actually hear this woman have a chance to speak, who am I to say any of this? I saw a picture of her at a sorority party five years ago, and that’s it. I’m not defending Rachael—I just know that 50 million people who did that in 2018. That was a type of party that a lot of people went to.
My guess? These girls got dressed and went to a party and had a great time. They were 18 years old. Does that make it okay? I don’t know, Rachel, you tell me...but where is this lens we’re holding up and was that lens available, and were we all looking through it in 2018?’”
The statement that caused outrage among millions goes like this,
“It’s first on Rachael. I don’t think it is incumbent upon ‘The Bachelor’ franchise to speak out on everything that everyone wants to hear about on social media. We’re not in the business of dealing with every problem that you have. We don’t have the time of day to handle everything that people come up with on social media. What I do think is interesting is that the show does push these social issues. On the ‘Women Tell All,’ we do get into it. Rachael was not there, but Rachael will have her time to speak, and hopefully, I will be there to have that debate with her. I will push her.”
Harrison further said,
“I will make it uncomfortable. I will try to hold her feet to the fire as much as I can, and then you guys can be the judge and the jury...I don’t think the show needs to speak before Rachael does; that’s not fair.”
After much outrage from viewers on social media, Chris announced his departure from the ABC franchise on February 13, 2021.
He made an official statement, apologizing to everyone he put into pain through his words.
Rachael Kirkconnell Apologizes For Racial Behaviors
Just a day after Chris’s interview, Rachael made her public apology statement.
"While there have been rumors circulating, there have also been truths that have come to light that I need to address. I hear you, and I’m here to say I was wrong. At one point, I didn’t recognize how offensive and racist my actions were, but that doesn’t excuse them. My age or 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.
I am ashamed of 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 an antiracist because it’s important to speak up at 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 further continued,
“As for my family, I love them and how they raised me to be my own individual. They have always encouraged me to have my own views, opinions, and beliefs. As I was thinking about what I wanted to say, I couldn’t help but think about how sick people must be of reading these kinds of statements; how a person didn’t realize the trauma that their actions would inflict on other people. It must get so exhausting.
I want to put my energy towards preventing people from making the same offensive mistakes that I made in the first place, and I hope I can prove this to you moving forward. Racial progress and unity are impossible without (white) accountability, and I deserve to be held accountable for my actions. I will never grow unless I recognize what I have done is wrong. 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."
Although things look grave at the moment, there’s a possibility that Rachael might come at the top.
According to previous hints and revelations by trusted Bachelor tea expert, RealitySteve, Rachael wins the show.
According to him, there are four finalists in the show, and one of them is Rachael.
Fans also got a hint of this outcome when people caught Matt listening to Rachael’s Spotify playlist.
Does Rachael really win the show?