Matt James swears off dating after Rachael Kirkconnell breakup
James is no longer looking for love after his racially-charged breakup with Kirkconnell
“I’m just solely focused on getting back into that meaningful work in the community and centering myself around projects that are going to elevate all the work that I’ve been working on doing in the city and special interest things that I appreciate outside of reality television,” said James.
James called things off his relationship with Bachelor winner Rachael Kirkconnell after photos of her attending a plantation-themed Georgia College campus party surfaced.
On the “After The Final Rose” special on ABC, an apologetic Kirkconnell admitted that she’s heartbroken, disappointed, and still in love with James. James explained to her “When I questioned our relationship, it was in the context of you not understanding my blackness … that’s why we can’t be in a relationship.”
Assuming accountability for her actions, she said: “People need to realize saying ‘this is normal where I come from’ doesn’t make it right.”
Kirkconnell wrote on Instagram, “I knew from the first night I met Matt that he was something special, and I was praying to share something exceptional between the two of us if that’s what was meant to be.”
Seemingly having found some resolve and accepting responsibility, she wrote further “while i never expected this outcome, i respect his decision completely. of course i wish circumstances were different, but i still feel blessed for the time we did have together and the memories we made.”
James said he hasn’t completely closed his heart to her. “I don’t think that anyone’s irredeemable,” he said. “And I think that for Rachael, there’s a lot that we didn’t discuss that we probably should’ve talked about. I probably should’ve asked more clarifying questions. And I’m giving her that space to do that.”
“It’s hiring a person of color, a woman of color to show you the nuances of how to act and how not to act,” he said. “Some people didn’t grow up in diverse backgrounds like I did. I grew up with black, white, Jewish, Asian communities all around me. And I’m not going to make excuses for anybody, but those types of relationships I had growing up allowed me to appreciate those cultures and things that you should respect about [them] — just general decency.”
James further elaborated: “The tough thing is having to explain to America why those pictures are problematic to me. You hear people harping on forgiveness and I forgave her when she told me. That doesn’t mean I’m not disappointed and that I don’t want her to do better. And for that to take place, I have to take a step back and let her pursue that.”
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