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More than one of the men competing for Lindsay's heart unveiled his personal dating history with women of color, engaging in an open discussion of when and how they should tell Lindsay, the first black Bachelorette in the show's history. "But growing up where I grew up, especially in high school, there weren't a lot of black girls." During his one-on-one date — which ultimately saw his elimination — he disclosed that he has mostly dated outside of his race.
Will Gaskins, a 28-year-old black contestant, was particularly vocal on the subject during Tuesday's episode, telling his fellow housemate that Lindsay does "not look like the people that I've been dating for the past couple years." The Miami sales manager then went on to say that he typically dates white girls. Lindsay said she, too, was raised in a majority white community, but has predominantly dated black people.
Viall had never seriously dated a black woman before her and Lindsay never brought home a white man before him.
Lindsay's older sister, Constance, put Viall in the hot seat, asking why Lindsay was his first black girlfriend. I see Rachel,' but at the same time with this climate we're in, I feel like you've seen more racism come out and so he does need to be aware it's not something that you can just hide and ignore," she explained.
Viewers will likely watch more discussions of race unfold onscreen, as she also stressed how important it was for her to bring up those conversations once she was going to walk into someone’s home or vice versa.
"I just needed to know his thought process and realize that not everybody might be as accepting of our relationship as we are," Lindsay had explained.
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About keeping the controversial contestant on for six episodes, and watching him pick fights with several black contestants, Lindsay took to Twitter to say: "I may not see everything and I may do things on my own time..I keep my grass cut low so the snakes will show." Earlier this season, Lindsay's stress from the drama in the house, coupled with the pressure of being the first black Bachelorette, led to a tearful breakdown.
In March before filming began, Lindsay admitted to feeling pressure from the African-American community to gift her final rose to a black suitor.
But her thoughts had slightly shifted after she finished filming.
In fact, she told in May that she wanted her cast to reflect her dating history, and her cast rates as the ABC franchise's most-diverse grouping in its 15-year run.
When the season premiered, 11 black men stood a chance with Lindsay among a group of 31.