Rachel Lindsay understands the pressures of becoming the first black Bachelorette and will not take racism as a result.
As ABC was airing a particularly racial "Bachelorette" episode Monday night, former "Bachelor" contestant Leah Block (who tried to win over Ben Higgins’ heart in 2016) made a controversial joke about this season’s diverse cast.
“I’m sitting here watching @BacheloretteABC and my roommate just sat down on the couch and said, ‘What is this? @LoveAndHipHop_?’ DEAD,” Block tweeted.
Bachelor Nation, including another former "Bachelor" contestant, swarmed just moments later for the comparison to the VH1 reality show. Astrid Loch asked Block if she was watching with Lee Garrett, one of Lindsay’s suitors whose racist thoughts were recently discovered on the show.
Lindsay then chimed in by responding to Block’s tweet directly.
“Let me know if she wants to meet Lee,” she tweeted. “They sound like they would have a lot in common. #ihavetimetoday.”
Block later deactivated her Twitter account and set her Instagram to private, which just made things worse in Lindsay’s book.
One follower tweeted that she “knew how wrong it was when she posted it,” and the current Bachelorette responded, “Naw you just aren’t funny.”
In Monday’s episode, current contestant Dean Unglert got emotional as he realized that Garrett seemed to be picking fights with only the black bachelors.
“The only people that I’ve seen Lee pick fights with have been not the people that he’s used to seeing on a daily basis, from a cultural perspective. You know exactly what I mean when I said that,” he said in a confessional with the producer. “The longer Lee sticks around, the more everyone will become aware of his intolerance.”
And as the arguments continued, Lindsay began to take notice of the loud screaming coming from the other rooms in the house.
The cocktail party before the rose ceremony then got cut short because the Bachelorette became so emotional that she couldn’t continue.
“The pressures that I feel being a black woman, and what that is … I don’t want to talk about it,” she told the producers. “I get pressured from so many different ways being in this position, and I did not want to get into all of this tonight. I already know what people are going to say about me and judge me for the decisions I’m making. I’m going to be the one that has to deal with that - nobody else. And that’s a lot.”