"The Bachelor" contestant Rachael Kirkconnell shared a video on Thursday in which she addressed the controversy around her past social media activity.
In a video posted to Instagram, Kirkconnell discussed the reactions she's received from fans and viewers of the show after issuing her first apology two weeks ago for how "offensive and racist" her past actions were.
"Over the last few weeks since I put my statement out I've gotten a lot of messages," she shared. "I've gotten a lot of people asking me, 'Well, what have you done to change since then?' And I've also had a lot of people message me saying that they aren't understanding why people are so upset, but they want to. And they've asked for resources, which I think is great."
She said there were also others sharing messages with her saying they feel she has done nothing wrong.
"I'm tired of getting all this and not saying anything," she said about those messages. "And I think that the first big step in all of this is white people stepping up and taking accountability. Things will never change if we don't all work together ... towards this racial progress, this unity that we want."
She stated that she's wanted to share links to resources that she has been using to educate herself on racial issues since she issued the apology. But she was hesitant to do so, as she didn't want it to look like she was engaging in performative allyship, she said.
"I get it, I hear you -- there are things out there that completely validate your opinions and your anger towards me," she said in her video to those critics. "But I've just, I've kind of realized that sitting aside and hiding in the corner and avoid[ing] being called 'performative' -- that doesn't help anyone or anything. Even if that is what people think when I speak on these subjects of injustice and racism ... that's not what really matters."
"This entire movement and where we are in this country -- it's just so much bigger than this," she continued.
Kirkconnell said she wants to use her platform to "shine a light on these issues and try and do what I can to take a step in the right direction." She shared several anti-racism resources on her account after posting the video.
In her apology shared earlier this month, she acknowledged her past racist actions after she was called out for attending an "Old South" college formal, which is a plantation-themed party. Users online found what appears to be her liking posts with the confederate flag and sharing QAnon conspiracy theories on social media.
"The Bachelor" Matt James has since spoken out on Kirkconnell's posts and the conversation host Chris Harrison and former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay had about Kirkconnell's actions, which resulted in Harrison "stepping aside" from "The Bachelor."
"While there are several episodes left of the season, it is important that I take the time to address the troubling information that has come to light since we wrapped filming," James said, "Including the incredibly disappointing photos of Rachael Kirkconnell and the interview between Rachel Lindsay and Chris Harrison."
Kirkconnell said Thursday that she feels the posts coming to light might have been "a blessing in disguise."
"Maybe it can wake a lot of people up, and maybe it already has started to," she shared. "I think one of the most crucial parts to all of this is to talk to each other and to have these conversations ... and to learn to unlearn and to do the work."
She also asked those who are defending her to stop.
"That's not our place to tell people what they can and can't be offended about -- that's wrong and that's part of the problem," she said. "So please stop saying that I did nothing wrong. That's not true."
"If you really want to support me, then encourage me to do better and encourage those around you to do better and to accept change and allow others to learn and grow," she added. "Because we need to work together on this, if anything is going to change."