"I'm so ashamed that I basically participated in that unknowingly because I'm sitting here in my own little privileged, selfish world just thinking, 'Oh, we just put dresses on to go take a photo op,'" she explained. "If I had to think about it at the time, I was probably just thinking, 'OK, just some super traditional fraternity and they probably just want to continue the tradition of what they used to wear when the fraternity was founded.'"
"And so, when I first learned that it was [racist], I was really ashamed that I unknowingly participated in that and basically continued that tradition," she continued. "Between that and just a lot of other things about Greek life, I was like, 'I don't want to be part of this anymore.' So I dropped out after that."
"And I guess that's the first time my eyes opened [up] about a difference between being not racist and anti-racist."
She also recalled how she was told to stay silent as the controversy began making headlines. "I had a lot of people in my ear saying, 'You'll have your time. Don't make it worse. You'll have your time to speak. We'll give you a platform. Just wait it out."
After finally speaking out, however, the backlash continued because her Instagram post was only a statement and not a conversation, according to Rachael. "Anyone could have written that statement, which a lot of people had thought," she added. "I didn't even have any sort of representation at that point. People were like, ‘Wow, her publicist did great with this.' That's when I was like, it's not enough."
Around this time, she broke up with "Bachelor" Matt James and said she hit "rock bottom," so she decided to share an Instagram Live video speaking on her accountability.
"I wanted to apologize and for some people, that won't be enough and I completely understand that," she said. "People are more than entitled not to forgive me, but that was my rock bottom. I had lost everything."
The couple have since reunited and Rachael said she is trying to look at the situation in a positive light.
"Matt and I are in a great place now and I've grown so much from the entire experience," she said. "I've learned so much and I try and tell myself, 'Well, you do have this platform now that you can make a difference with.'"