“Well, Rachel, is it a good look in 2018? Or, is it not a good look in 2021? Because there’s a big difference.” – Chris Harrison defending a Bachelor contestant’s attendance at an antebellum party. CNN
The world has made huge advancements when it comes to fighting racism, most of these advancements having occurred after 2018. You see, way back in 2018 it was totally acceptable to go to an old South antebellum party and participate in celebrations that promote racism. I’m proud to say that that’s no longer a good look in 2021.
Back in the days of yore (yes, I’m still talking about 2018), if a group of white people wanted to get dolled up like slave owners and have a plantation-themed party, well, they were just having a good time. They weren’t being ignorant or commemorating racism. I mean, come on, this was 2018. How were they supposed to know any better?
“But, Chris, 2018 was only three years ago,” some people have informed me. I double checked their calculations and, though I first thought it was five years ago, it turns out that, yes, their math is correct. To these people I say, there’s a big difference between 2018 and 2021.
In 2021 we are looking through a different lens. Or at least I’m told. I’m not sure, I don’t wear glasses. What I want to know is, where is this lens that we’re holding up and was that lens available and were we all looking through it in 2018? How were the simple people of the bygone year 2018 supposed to know that pretending to be slave owners on a plantation wouldn’t be considered a good look by the woke futurists of 2021?
My friend, Rachel Lindsay, a woman of color, tried to inform me, “It’s not a good look ever.” Hello, Rachel, were you forgetting that I’m a privileged white man? Why would I listen to her about an issue she knows firsthand? I told her, “You’re 100% right in 2021. That was not the case in 2018.” Poor Rachel. She was neglecting to remember that three years ago was a different time in our history and that celebrating Confederacy was the look of 2018.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not defending anyone who attended an antebellum party in 2018. No, I’m simply trying to justify their attendance in a way that makes it excusable. I’m not defending it, just contextualizing it in an attempt to exonerate. No, no, I wouldn’t defend such a thing. There’s as big a difference between defending and what I’m doing as there is between 2018 and 2021.
We’ve come a long way since 2018. The civil rights movement has made some of its biggest strides in 2021. One need only look to The Bachelor for proof of this progress. 2021 marked the first time in the television series’ illustrious 25 season history that a Black man was chosen to be the bachelor. Sure, segregation ended in 1964 but 2021 was when our show decided to be racially inclusive.
“Why did we wait 25 seasons,” some people have asked, “don’t Black people make up over thirteen percent of the U.S. population?” If you were tuning into The Bachelor for equal representation of minorities, you came to the wrong rose ceremony. We weren’t quite sure people were ready for a Black bachelor. I mean, sure, there’d been a Black president from 2009-2017, but this is The Bachelor we’re talking about. We needed to wait until we knew that we had the ratings on our side and/or public pressure demanded that we have someone who’s not white. I think that’s pretty woke, don’t you?
If attending a plantation-themed party in 2018, and supporting someone’s attendance at such a party, is considered wrong then my name isn’t Chris Harrison and I’m not the host of The Bachelor! What’s that, it is wrong and I’ll be forced to step aside as host? I’m being told that my statements are ignorant and that they perpetuate racism. If this is the reaction I’m getting for my 2021 opinions, it’s a good thing you didn’t hear what I thought way back in 2018.
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Jason Garramone is a writer and all-around comedian. He enjoys laughing and making others laugh as well.