Thoughts From A Black Bachelor Fan

The past two seasons of the Bachelor have been historic for the circumstances as well as the diversity within the casts. While Tayshia wasn’t the first Black Bachelorette, but being only the second is still a pretty fucking big deal. We all know that The Bachelor franchise isn’t exactly known for their diverse cast, and it’s something that’s been mostly ignored on their end, thinking that if they give the lead roles to Black people, the lack of diversity comments won’t be so loud.

This season, with Matt as the Bachelor and such a large portion of the cast being women of color, I think people had high hopes, but at the end of the day shit hit the fucking fan.

In terms of Rachael, who’s last name I don’t even fucking know because I really have not been paying attention this season, her background didn’t shock me in the slightest. There are so many white people who, on the outside, wouldn’t seem racist, or they have black friends, or they just seem totally 100% normal, but there’s a reason BIPOC don’t trust white people. You never fucking know what’s happening. My biggest issue with Rachael is that if fans could so easily find these social media posts, then why couldn’t the producers? Either they didn’t even bother, or they did find it and decided it wasn’t that big of an issue. Which tells me that there aren’t many, if any, BIPOC people working in their casting department. It is so incredibly dangerous and irresponsible to cast someone as clearly ignorant as Rachael is in a show featuring so many Black and other POC women, as well as a Black bachelor. There haven’t been any comments on what Rachael was like inside the house, but the NDA’s may be the reason for that. Time will tell how she treated the rest of the cast.

If you’re a white person you probably think my use of the word dangerous is misplaced. But it’s not. Racism is quite literally dangerous. Rachael, or someone like her, may not be a physical threat, but can be emotionally and mentally. To be a person of color and to keep your guard up in order to avoid potential conflict, potential harm, is emotionally draining, and there is an overarching threat of violence that looms.

Some people seemed to be shocked by Chris Harrison’s reaction. He’s one of the most media trained people in the god damn world, and he still said that on camera? I’m not shocked. Sad, yes, shocked, no. He’s a rich, older, white man. That’s just par for the fucking course. It’s not right, but it’s shocking. Something that I’m so frequently annoyed with is white people seeing other white people be racist and being shocked, but nothing about it is ever shocking. In America, white people have been basically trained to be racist. Through media, the news, wording of headlines, and the constant attack on Black culture. While yes, we are taught that racism is bad, we are taught racism is bad on a much larger scale. That Jim Crow and segregation is bad. Slavery is bad. Martin Luther King Jr is good. But it never gets broken down into the much smaller prejudices. So when those prejudices come out in white people, you can’t be shocked. They’ve always been there. Do I think Chris Harrison is blatantly racist, no. But what does the term racist even mean these days? Do I think he’s wildly ignorant and stupid when it comes to the liberation of Black people? Absofuckinglutely. Do I think he hates Black people? I don’t know. I also think part of the reason he actually verbalized those things is because Rachael goes so far in the show, potentially ending up engaged to Matt. I hope for Matt’s sake that that’s not the case, but based on this past episode, I can very much see him picking her at the end of this. That being said, I hope to fucking god they’re not still together and that he gets with Heather after this whole thing and just disappears into existence, much like Heather after Colton’s season.

I think at the end of the day, this show is so wildly off base, I’m not sure that it can ever get to the level of diversity and inclusivity that I want from it. It starts with the backend. If the producers and the creators of the show aren’t BIPOC, or anything other than cisgendered white people, it can’t be a diverse show. They won’t be able to accurately address the issues that BIPOC and other communities face, which will in turn, turn those communities away from the show. This show, like many, was created for straight white people, by straight white people.

Will I finish this season, yes. Do I really care who Matt ends up with, not one bit. But that’s mostly because I find him incredibly dull, BUT I think that he’s dull because Black people, especially Black men, are held to such a higher standard than their white counterparts, that anything too loud, too aggressive, too anything is deemed wrong, but that’s a conversation for another day. I don’t quite know if I’ll continue to watch The Bachelor or not. They’d have to really rope me in with a new host and a GREAT lead. I am very interested to see where the franchise goes from here, and how everyone will react once the show is actually over.

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