During Monday night’s Men Tell All special, Lee did apologize. He denounced his hateful tweets; he also said he had a lot to learn and that he doesn’t like racism. *insert pondering face emoji* It’s really not up to me to decide whether Lee actually meant what he said. I’d like to give Lee the benefit of the doubt and say that he can change if he wants to. There are plenty of people who don’t believe he was sincere—who think he just said those things for the cameras. Maybe so. But like I said, I’m tired of talking about Lee. Let’s shift the focus to the people who stepped up to educate him during The Men Tell All.
After Kenny hashed out his beef with Lee, which he said didn’t feel like a racial issue at the time, Josiah joined Lee in the hot seat to drop some knowledge on him. Referring to a tweet in which Lee compared the KKK to the NAACP, Josiah said, “People came before me so that I could go to the same school like you, so I could drink from the fountain like you, and if you’re comparing them to the KKK—people who hung my ancestors—why are you trying to date a woman who looks like me?” Thank you, Josiah!
Anthony, a man of few words during Rachel’s season, had probably the most poignant message for Lee. Sensing that Lee didn’t consider himself a racist, even after Chris Harrison read the receipts, Anthony explained, “I think you’re just saying, ‘I’ve been a bad person,’ but you’re not acknowledging the kind of invisible racism in your mind. You may not be doing it intentionally, but I think it’s still motivating your actions. The racism that is ingrained in your behavior to the point of invisibility is still pushing you to behave in a certain way towards Kenny, towards Eric, towards me—in a way that you don’t even recognize.” Yes, Anthony. YES.
And then there’s Rachel. How lucky are we to have Rachel as our Bachelorette? I mean… You just know she’s been biting her tongue waiting to lay a sassy one-liner on Lee ever since his old tweets surfaced. And she sure didn’t disappoint. “Please know that you can exit stage left and meet me backstage and I’d be more than happy to give you a black history lesson, a lesson on women’s rights,” she told him. I, for one, would’ve loved to see that.
There’s really no way for us to know at this point whether this Men Tell All conversation was enough to change Lee’s views or the way he behaves. Even if it didn’t educate him, though, maybe it educated someone else—someone watching at home or in the studio audience who didn’t realize how their words affect the people they’re stereotyping and disparaging. Thank you to the people who did the hard work of explaining these issues—I think it's just what Bachelor Nation needed to hear.