Making amends! Bachelor alum Victoria Fuller admits she was “part of the problem” as she vocally supports the Black Lives Matter movement and apologizes for her controversial past amid George Floyd protests. In an Instagram post shared Monday, June 1, the reality TV star committed to “educating” herself about white privilege and combating “anti-blackness” and racism.
“I’d first like to say, I have been a part of the problem. And for that I am sorry. Being naive, staying silent, or not educating ourselves of the ongoing racism in our country IS contributing to the problem. Period,” Victoria, 26, wrote as she shared photos from a Virginia Beach, Virginia protest that took place over the May 31 weekend. “I’ve taken time to educate myself, read [and] listen, and although I can never fully grasp or understand, I am willing to keep learning. This isn’t a trend. This is a societal problem that needs change. And hopefully I can use my platform as a way to educate and continue every day to learn from others.”
“Far too many of us who are closer in proximity to being white erroneously believe that we do not have to take the issues of systematic oppression seriously or don’t feel the need to speak up. So now we have a choice,” she continued. “We can continue to use unearned privilege to remain ignorant or can put aside the color of our skin in order to see clearly and live differently.” Quoting American theologian Harvey Cox, she wrote, “‘Not to decide is to decide.’ Decide. Do better. Be better.”
The model, who starred on Peter Weber’s season of The Bachelor, went on to give her followers tangible steps they can take to learn more about becoming anti-racist. She encouraged them to read books like White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo, watch documentaries like Netflix’s 13th, donate to organizations like Reclaim the Block and reflect on their own lives. “Something that I personally asked myself before deciding to post this, ‘In what ways does my proximity to whiteness afford me privileges that are not extended to black people?’” she explained.
Victoria previously sparked backlash when photos surfaced of her modeling for We Love Marlins’ conservation campaigns, which featured shirts with the slogans “White Lives Matter” and “Blue Lives Matter” as well as a take on a confederate flag. After the star was called out by fans, Cosmopolitan announced they would not be releasing her digital magazine cover with Peter shot during a group date on the show. “Both phrases and the belief systems they represent are rooted in racism and therefore problematic,” Cosmo’s editor-in-chief Jessica Pels shared in an article on their website, “Why We’re Not Publishing the Cosmo ‘Bachelor’ Cover.”
In February, the Bachelor Nation star apologized for her role in the campaign. “My intention was only to support an endangered species,” she wrote on her Instagram Story. “I want to say that I unequivocally reject the beliefs of the white lives matter movement or any propaganda that supports racism of any kind. I would like to specifically apologize to people of color that are affected by racism daily. It was never my intention to add fuel to the racial fire in this country. … This has truly been an educational moment for me and I hope to be a voice against racism moving forward. I hope I can be shown grace as I navigate through this process.”
It’s clear Victoria is taking steps to not only change her life but help change the lives of those around her as she encourages her followers to do the same.