“Bachelorette” Rachel Lindsay says “race didn’t play in as a factor” in her choices on the show

Rachel Lindsay made Bachelor Nation history by becoming the first African American Bachelorette. The reality star confirmed earlier this month that she is indeed engaged after filming her season, but Bachelorette Rachel said race “didn’t play in as a factor” when choosing who to give the final rose to.

Although Rachel said that race wasn’t an issue for her Bachelorette season, she’s not one to deny that race is important. In her previous life as a Bachelor contest — on Nick Viall’s most recent season — she brought Nick home to meet her family. The hometown date revolved a lot around a discussion of race. Nick tried his best to show that he wasn’t racist and loved Rachel for who she was as a person, but he sort of missed the point.

What her family really wanted to know was if Nick could be an ally. Her sister said:

"As nice as that sounds, right now with this climate that we’re in I feel like you’ve seen more racism come out. So he does need to be more aware. It’s not something that you can just hide and ignore and…just live in your own bubble. You have to know how to navigate that path in a relationship."

For Rachel, race will probably be important in different ways on The Bachelorette.

While it’s likely that Rachel isn’t going to choose someone just because they’re a certain race, it’s clear from her hometown dates that acknowledging race issues is important to her. How could it not be?

Pretending that “color doesn’t matter” ignores the deep history of racism in America, as well as the fact that racism still exists. Whoever she chooses, viewers will certainly be watching closely to see how the topic of race plays out throughout this season’s cocktail parties and dates.