Rachael Kirkconnell is vying for Matt James’ heart on The Bachelor, but off-air, she is facing accusations of racism and cultural appropriation. Her mother, Kim, is addressing each of those accusations in an interview with The Sun.
Asserting “no one should have to go through what she has been through,” Kim is opening up about her daughter’s hopelessness and frustration. She said the family has also faced threats.
Claiming her daughter has been prevented from speaking out, she added, “We hope her time will come soon where she will be able to address everything.”
Kim Called the Accusations of Bullying ‘Slander and Libel’
Kim called accusations her daughter bullied Maddy Bierster “for liking black guys” as “slander and libel.”
The IT professional acknowledged that Bierster may have actually been bullied and knew her daughter, but not on “any sort of personal level.” She told the outlet that Bierster attended a different high school from her daughter.
She said in the absence of evidence, they “served [Bierster] a cease and desist with which she chose not to comply.” Now the family is “considering taking legal action.”
She Refutes Claims Kirkconnell Partied on a Plantation
The accusations against Kirkconnell seemed to come to a head when photos surfaced of the embattled start in Civil War-era costumes. Yet, her mother is claiming it was just a photoshoot in “Southern Belle dresses” before her formal on the beach.
“The event made no references to the Civil War, the word Antebellum was never used to describe the event, no Confederate flags were present, and no Confederate outfits were worn,” Kim told the publication.
She asserts Kirkconnell quit Greek life, including her own sorority, shortly thereafter when she “began to acknowledge a lot of problematic and racist behavior.”
Kim added Chris Harrison’s stance on the matter, which he shared in an Extra interview, is “the exact opposite” of Kirkconnell. He questioned if an “Old South” party would have still been considered a bad look in 2018. He has since announced he is temporarily “stepping aside” as host, but Kirkconnell finds “some solace” in the incident pushing the franchise to “take a step in the right direction.”
Kim Claimed Kirkconnell Was ‘Not yet Educated’ at the Time of Some of Her Behavior
Kirkconnell was criticized for wearing Native American costumes and liking photos such as friends posing in front of a Confederate flag.
While saying her daughter was “ashamed” of liking the post, she claims Kirkconnell did not “register” the flag’s presence in the photo. As for the accusations of cultural appropriation, she told The Sun that the Bachelor contestant was “not yet educated.”
She said, “Cultural appropriation was not okay then and it’s not okay now, and she is sorry to every person she offended by liking that photo.”
Since then, she claims Kirkconnell has “donated, signed petitions, made the conscious effort to listen and learn, and encouraged other white allies to do the same on her social media,” even at the expense of lifelong friendships.
Yet, she believes “any acknowledgment of her anti-racist efforts” was omitted to support “the theory that she is racist.” Instead, Kirkconnell’s mother described her as “non-judgmental, kind, caring, compassionate, non-confrontational and friendly to everyone she comes across.”
Kim Addressed James’ Statement
Following James’ Instagram statement calling out the “racist history of the Antebellum South,” Kim acknowledged that they “will never be able to understand how he feels about this situation as a Black man. We respect his stance on the situation.”
Yet, her daughter just “wants to be able to prove to him that she has changed and work with him to fight against injustice.”
Insisting the graphic designer was always just looking for love, Kim said of James, “If he chooses Rachael, and stands by her, then you know Matt does truly love her. If he chooses Rachael, and then leaves her, then it was not meant to be, and there is someone else out there for her.”
Kirkconnell has since apologized on Instagram.