Since violent supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 in an effort to block Joe Biden’s certification as president, millions of Americans continue to call for justice as congressional leaders draw up articles of impeachment and consider invoking the 25th amendment to remove Trump. Celebrities like Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, and Charli D’Amelio have expressed outrage over Wednesday’s events. And now, Bachelor star Matt James shared his heated reaction over the Capitol Riots.
On Thursday, Jan. 7, James didn’t hold back on Twitter and Instagram stories, directly pointing out the glaring difference in the way officers treated Trump supporters versus peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters last summer. “Yesterday, as we watched riots take place inside our Capitol we’re reminded yet again we’re living in two different Americas,” he said. “As a Black man who saw how peaceful protestors were handled this summer, I know a group of black or brown rioters would not have been dealt with the same way.”
He continued, “We need to address the hypocrisy and injustice in our country to set a better example for the next generation. I’m praying for America in 2021, and to say nothing is saying something.”
James’ messages are especially poignant since he’s the first Black male lead of ABC’s franchise, which has in recent years drawn criticism for its historic lack of diversity and inclusivity. To see a member of Bachelor Nation speak up is not just refreshing, but a clear sign that James recognizes the weight of his celebrity.
During the season 25 premiere of The Bachelor, James tackled the subject of race by addressing “the pressure I have put on myself being the first Black Bachelor.” He told Chris Harrison witnessing his parents’ interracial marriage (and its challenges) has certainly impacted his search for love, and that he hopes not to alienate certain viewers.
“You’ve got people who are cheering for you to find love, and then you’ve got people who are cheering for you to end up with a specific person of a specific race,” he said. “It’s like, I don’t want to piss off Black people. I don’t want to piss off white people. But I’m both of those! It’s like, how do I please everybody?”