Race & The Bachelor Part 1: The First Black Bachelor

Tuesday, February 16, 2021


Welcome to Part 1 of our 3 part series on Race and The Bachelor.

A lot has been going on with The Bachelor this season and while I'm not a fan of the show, the Bachelor Nation is representative of a big part of the country and is currently showcasing some serious race issues. 

After public scrutiny and pressure from the Bachelor Nation in the form of a change.org petition with ~200k signatures demanding the franchise increase diverse representation, in its 24th season the 40th lead is the first ever Black Bachelor. And even though they originally had a white Bachelorette we'll give them partial credit for bringing in the show's second ever non-white Bachelorette this season as well. 

There is no arguing that representation matters, especially in a franchise as far-reaching as The Bachelor. But this season of The Bachelor with Matt James as the first ever Black Bachelor is a shining example of why diversity without the equity and inclusion piece is at a minimum problematic and in many cases dangerous. My good friend Charisse (@thisladylion) has a background in media and took the time to talk through her hot takes on The Bachelor, who the show is actually for, and what white people can do to move us forward besides petitioning for Black Bachelor contestants. You can view our conversation here (note: video editing is not my forte).

The idea behind these recordings is to provide different perspectives. The people I speak with share their own personal opinions and are never speaking on behalf of their race or subgroup. As you watch, please remember our #1 allyship rule: listen with an open mind. Some things are hard to hear, and these are usually the most important . 

Because of my professional background I have had the opportunity to hear different perspectives and learn how to sit in my discomfort and untangle complex social topics. One of the most valuable things to come out of this experience has been the continued conversations about how race impacts every part of our culture and non-white people's daily lived experience. Having the professional and life experiences with a diverse friend group is a privilege I know many white people don't get, and most people will never have the opportunity to learn about social justice and equality in the safe space I had. I hope by sharing some of our conversations we can all learn to recognize the effects of race and how we can work to dismantle white supremacy. Even our most seemingly petty topics (ie The Bachelor) make us think, and realize what a privilege it is to even be able to sit and fully enjoy a show without ever feeling discomfort and hurt. 

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