Michelle Young on being called racial slur

November 3, 2021
"Bachelorette" star Michelle opened up about a past experience being called a racial slur – and how the reaction from her then-partner was a deal-breaker.

Michelle Young got candid this week on “The Bachelorette” about a past experience being called a racial slur – and how the reaction from her partner at the time was a deal-breaker. 

During a one-on-one date with Rodney, a 29-year-old sales representative from California, Michelle opened up about the importance of partners showing support in an interracial relationship. She said growing up seeing her mom, who is white, stand up for her dad, who is Black, just as much as he did for her set an important standard. 

She recounted an incident in which a woman at the grocery store used a  racial epithet and said the man she was in a relationship with at the time, who isn’t Black, made her feel unsupported.

“When I got home and was visibly upset, the response was more how I was giving the woman more power because I was upset and I chose to be upset about it, and I had to justify my emotions,” she recalled. “Which I did. I tried to explain where I was coming from.”

She continued: “Looking back on it, that was my sign. I shouldn’t have ever had to justify my feelings. Whatever emotion I was feeling in that moment, I was allowed to feel and I was allowed to feel it as long as I wanted to feel it. If I have to explain that, I’ll also be explaining that the relationship’s not going to work. It doesn’t mean that someone who is white or a different race can’t understand you.” 

Rodney, who is also Black, concurred: “I felt the same way with my ex. Like you said, you never want to be complacent. You never want to settle. I’m just truly looking for my queen and the way that you act, the way that you carry yourself is so exciting for me.” 

Last week’s recap: Michelle addresses more ‘suspicious’ connections with Joe

Later in the episode, Michelle speaks during a group-date poetry reading about being the “token Black girl” growing up in Minnesota, and feeling like the only way to fit in was to follow the “basic white trends.” 

“Dating was a whole other challenge,” she said. “I felt like white connected with white. I blamed my singleness on being a late bloomer, but I knew that wasn’t right. I was never the girl invited to cute dates at the apple orchard in the fall. I was the girl picked last for prom, but the first for basketball. I made a promise to myself to help empower all hues of Black, white and brown, fighting for opportunities that allow them to blossom from the ground, being that role model young brown girls see when looking around.” 

Who went home this week? 

Rodney nabs the one-on-one date rose, while Martin and Brandon each collect a group-date rose. During the cocktail party, last week’s drama with Jamie (who had the first one-on-one of the season) resurfaces and Michelle opts to send him home early. 

Joe, Rick, Leroy, Nayte, Casey, Chris G., Chris S., Clayton, Olu, Romeo and Will all get roses during the cocktail party. That means it’s the end of the road for Peter, Spencer, LT and Mollique.

Now that ongoing drama with Jamie has been squashed, Michelle feels positive about moving forward with her 14 remaining contestants. But a teaser for next week suggests there’s still a “snake” or two in the mix. 

More:What will it take to fix ‘The Bachelor’ franchise’s racism?

And:‘Bachelor,’ ‘Bachelorette’ star Rachel Lindsay says hit ABC shows need to work harder to be more diverse

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