I have never been a fan of the reality TV show "The Bachelor" or "The Bachelorette." Still, it was brought to my attention that this season of the Bachelor included a contestant from my hometown, Rachael Kirkconnell.
While this initially seemed like a pleasant surprise, it quickly soured into a situation that could be described as anything but "pleasant." The show that I already see numerous issues with has taken the drama frequently surrounding it to a new level with recent "news" about Kirkconnell.
Several days ago, it was revealed that Kirkconnell "liked" several social media posts featuring Confederate flags and attended an antebellum fraternity formal at a plantation.
The controversy escalated when The Bachelor's TV show host Chris Harrison came to Kirkconnell's defense, asking people to have "a little grace, a little understanding [and] a little compassion" towards her amidst the backlash she was receiving. However, Harrison's attempt to de-escalate some of the attacks only landed him in the same hot water that he was trying to get Kirkconnell out of.
Both individuals have now been deemed as "racist." Harrison not only bent a knee to the leftist mob by apologizing for "speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism" but has also decided not to appear on "After The Final Rose" finale.
For the people who are the most upset over this situation, that is still not enough. There are calls for Harrison to be removed from the show entirely.
Kirkconnell has also taken to Instagram to apologize, stating that she didn't "recognize how offensive and racist " her actions were. However, this has not stopped people from continuing to harass her and her family.
Furthermore, a young woman named Maddy Bierster took on to TikTok accusing Kirkconnell of bullying her in high school for "liking black guys." It was later discovered that Bierster never attended the same high school as Kirkconnell.
If the social justice mob were to go after every individual Kirkconnell and I grew up for just setting foot on a former plantation or liking a post featuring the Confederate flag, their work would take up quite some time. It's not an easy task to explain that the confederate flag isn't viewed the same by southerners as it often is by people who grew up outside of Southern culture, but that's a concept that I wish more were open to discuss. As for plantation homes, I don't believe it's necessary to explain why beautiful, historical, and spacious homes are in modern times used as venues for weddings, parties, and similar events, regardless of their past.
Yes, an immoral practice was committed in these plantations. There's no denying that. However, these are now beautiful historical sites. These plantations that have an immoral past have been turned into a place where individuals can make happy memories while also gaining an education of our country's history. Those that attend these plantation events aren't "making light of slavery."
Kirkconnell's past actions are not reflective of "racism"; they reflect typical life aspects for people who grew up in the South. No one from our home community would give a second thought to someone liking a post featuring a Confederate flag or attending an event at a plantation. Considering this, I would imagine this sudden controversy was somewhat of a shock for Kirkconnell.
Regardless of anyone's feelings about that flag or the use of plantations as venues, I do not believe attacking a young woman for merely liking posts that include Confederate flags and going to a dance at a plantation can be justified.
Furthermore, neither are a good reason to invade her parents' and siblings' privacy or call for the host of the show she is on to be fired.
In this day and age, what constitutes "racism" has been watered down to the point that it has lost its true meaning. Social justice warriors will jump on any chance to claim victimhood for themselves or play the hero fighting for another person they have deemed a victim.
This accusation of racism against Kirkconnell not only highlights the accusers' failure to understand what racism is, though.
It is also a prime example of how toxic "cancel culture" has become. The disturbing trend of crucifying individuals, often without evidence beyond an accusation, death threats, doxing, harassing family members, costing them their job or their entire career, which is commonly based on mere disagreement over political views or mistakes made decades ago, has become increasingly popular among the leftist mob in the past couple of years.
More so than to "correct" or "educate" targets of this practice, those carrying it out wish to see them entirely de-platformed, never being able to voice their opinions or show their faces publicly again.
It's a way for the leftist mob to feel like self-righteous heroes who are worthy of praise. Like most other lifestyle-choices they make, it is about virtue-signaling, their favorite thing to do.
The backlash that Kirkconnell and Harrison are experiencing is another frightening example of the aggressive and intolerant phenomenon of cancel culture. While Harrison has been forced to step aside from his career, Kirkconnell has been left to deal with the stress of having her family investigated and blasted in articles read by millions. Again, this is after both gave (unnecessary) public apologies.
So, where does it stop? For the groups involved in "canceling" other people, it seems that no line has been drawn for how far they're willing to go with their actions.
When my friend David Leatherwood condemned Black Lives Matter via his Twitter page, cancel culture came after him costing him his job. One of the young women involved in making that happen only realized the extent of the damage she had done after she was made aware of his job termination.
Many people who involve themselves in getting people they have an issue with "canceled" have not thought through their actions' potential consequences.
For many others, though, I believe they know what they're doing and are happy to see the most significant damage done towards the person they're targeting. Twitter is infested with numerous examples of this. Anyone that speaks out against the left isn't allowed to live out their lives.
How far will we allow this dangerous tactic to progress before we collectively put our feet down and put an end to it?
We need to cancel "cancel culture." People do not deserve to have their lives destroyed over past mistakes or for doing and saying things that others disagree with.
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About the Author:
Erin Fitzgerald Adair is a political commentator known as @Always.Right on Instagram. She attended college for Political Science and History, formerly hosted a weekly podcast, and recently worked on a congressional campaign. Erin is a “Cav Kid” from Georgia who now splits her time between there and Florida. She is passionate about advocating for gun rights, free speech, and our constitutional liberties while speaking out against abortion, censorship, and cultural marxism.