'Bachelor' Matt James is finally opening up about Chris Harrison excusing historical racism and Rachael Kirkconnell's racist behavior ... calling it incredibly disappointing and devastating.
Matt didn't mince words expressing his disappointment in Harrison over how he conducted himself in an interview with Rachel Lindsay -- the first black 'Bachelorette' -- as they discussed photos showing Kirkconnell attending a 2018 antebellum south party.
The 'Bachelor' said, "Watching Chris's failure to receive and understand the emotional labor that my friend Rachel Lindsay was taking on by graciously and patiently explaining the racist history of the Antebellum South, a painful history that every American should understand intimately, was troubling and painful to watch."
Matt said he's glad the controversy has, at least, sparked critical conversations and raised important questions ... but he's still in the middle of processing all of this as a few more episodes remain on his season of "The Bachelor." He also thanked 'Bachelor Nation' for their solidarity on an issue that has left former black contestants divided on how to proceed with the host's future.