The finale of the black Bachelorette didn’t bring about the racial reconciliation and diversity many people were hoping it would.
Rachel Lindsay, the first black woman to be a Bachelorette, revealed her Colombian fiance, Bryan Abasolo, during Monday night’s three hour finale. Many fans were disappointed that she choose Abasolo over Peter Kraus, a noted fan favorite.
“And for the first time, I stopped running away from it, and I was like, ‘Why can’t you have what you want?’ And that was Bryan,” Lindsay said about her decision to choose Abasolo.
A lot of viewers had high hopes for the Bachelorette, believing it would bring about racial reconciliation in America. People wrote op-eds wondering if America could handle an interracial relationship (yes), whether there were enough black men on the show (about 35 percent were black) and whether the show catered to white people too much.
Those who believed a reality show on romance would help race relations in America tricked themselves. It’s a little ridiculous to believe that a show dedicated to selling every woman’s fantasy would be able to deal with race and interracial dating properly.
But in some ways the show failed its viewership in how it handled the multi-racial aspect of the show. Instead of promoting harmony, or even showing that maybe race shouldn’t matter at this point in America, the show featured a multiple episode arc featuring racism in an attempt to drum up drama. Lee, a white guy, repeatedly baited Kenny, a black man, by calling him “aggressive.” This conflict culminated in a group meeting where other black contestants tried to explain why it’s offensive to call a black man “aggressive.”
But these discussions didn’t draw America together or add anything to the conversation on race. Instead, America had to suffer through almost twelve episodes focused on a woman making terrible decisions in her romantic life all for a diamond ring with sprinklings of racial drama in the background to add tension.
Lindsay kept around Lee, a white guy who seemed to hate black people (possibly for higher ratings) and allowed a grown man who carried around a puppet to stay past the first night. Lindsay ignored her family’s caution about Abasolo’s character, despite multiple warnings from her sister that Abasolo was way too charming.
And it’s not like there weren’t other signs about her now fiance. When she met Abasolo’s family during the hometown meetings, Abasolo’s mother called her son her life. If your future fiance’s mother says that he’s her life, you probably shouldn’t be marrying him.
America needs her time back, because this season was terrible.
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