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Matt James Explains ‘Frustrating’ Aftermath of Rachael Kirkconnell Split

Hours after the most depressing Bachelor finale ever aired, a single Matt James appeared on Good Morning America to further discuss his decision to break up with contestant Rachael Kirkconnell after her racist and offensive past was aired out in public. Despite saying that he believes Kirkconnell is a “good person,” James admitted that he was shocked to see photos of her attending an antebellum-South-themed party in college, which included her wearing a period dress. “That’s the frustrating part about the position that I’m in, is having to explain not only to Rachael but to the rest of America why things like that are problematic, because we don’t have that chance to have that ignorance,” he explained. “Think about Breonna Taylor, think about Tamir Rice, they didn’t have that opportunity to have ignorance.” In the finale, James said that after seeing those photos, it made him realize Kirkconnell “might not understand what it means to be Black in America.”

When asked by Michael Strahan if he ever discussed the idea of being in a biracial relationship and raising biracial children with Kirkconnell, James said that they never did. “A lot of the time spent during filming and having those conversations were among the women of color,” he explained. “I think we could’ve had those conversations among the white women there as well. But hindsight is 20/20 and I probably should’ve asked more clarifying questions.” James also wished Kirkconnell well with her continued plans to work on anti-racism education: “I’m looking forward to seeing her do [that], because I know she’s capable of it.” In the meantime, if you see James strolling in the Lower East Side anytime soon, please offer him a kind nod.

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Matt James Explains ‘Frustrating’ Aftermath of Rachael Split