A Tuesday op-ed hailed the black Bachelorette tv show as “limited progress” that only helps white people.
“A Black Bachelorette Is Not A Victory For Black Women” argued that while it was refreshing to see a black woman at the forefront of ABC’s “The Bachelorette”, her presence only served to benefit white people and help them feel more connected to black people.
“Rachel Lindsey, first black bachelorette represents progress for white people. They’ll feel a bit more connected to blackness, and console themselves that like these representative good white people on the show, they too could date a black woman … one like Rachel at least. But this representation doesn’t do much for black women,” Mandy Harris-Williams wrote in For Harriet. “Black women, especially dark black women have a racialized un-desirability problem, not a romantic analysis problem.”
Williams also argued that the representation of a black woman won’t actually “combat white antagonism.” Instead, it would make white people feel better about themselves.
“Representation stokes racist fires, but fails to push back the tide of material white privilege. Representation allows white people and white television networks to dis-burden themselves, to believe that their deeply embedded racism is absolved,” Williams wrote.
Williams seems to forget that the purpose of the Bachelorette isn’t to bring about racial progress but to entertain the public at large. Women and men don’t compete on the Bachelorette to break down racial barriers or demonstrate that racism doesn’t exist; they go on the show to find a fairy-tale romance.
Lindsey even said she ignored race to find her soul mate on the show. Despite facing pressure to choose a black man, Lindsey said she picked her fiancé regardless of race.
“I couldn’t get caught up in picking a certain man to please a certain community. Race didn’t play in as a factor when it came to choosing men along the way. In my final decision, I just went with my heart and the person I found my forever with,” Lindsey told The Hollywood Reporter previously.
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