It’s that time again for The Bachelorette‘s hometown dates — always illuminating and often fateful for contestants.
Dean Unglert is a favorite this year, and of course he’s one of the suitors who’s getting a hometown date with Rachel Lindsay.
Dean’s family’s come up before, so he’s taken to the interwebs to issue a plea for religious tolerance — because his dad, as you may remember, is a Sikh.
If you’re scratching your head for a moment and wondering who takes issue with Sikhs, the issue is a little more complicated than that.
Sikhism is, like every faith, complicated, but essentially it’s a panentheistic religion believing in a single God who permeates and transcends every aspect of the universe.
Many people minority faiths see discrimination and mockery, particularly when they are poorly understood by the culture in which they live.
Unfortunately, two realities of Sikhs have led them to face real violence from bigots.
Sikhs wear turbans over their uncut hair as a matter of religious expression.
While Sikhism accepts converts (like, say, Dean’s father), they do not actively seek to convert anyone, and because of that there is a powerful ethnic association for Sikhs.
The result is that you have brown-skinned people wearing turbans and, well, bigots aren’t generally known for their cultured educations.
In the eyes of the ignorant, Sikhs look like Muslims.
(And we’re talking about bigots here, so they see Muslims as targets for violence)
Horrible hate crimes have been committed against Sikhs, which would be vile enough on its own.
But in many cases it seems to be a case of mistaken identity fueled by Islamophobia.
Dean Unglert has described his father as “eccentric” in the past, and received criticism for that by Sikh fans of the show.
Conscious of bias and prejudice within the culture, Dean took to Instagram to ask people to not be dicks about his dad, basically.
“Hometowns are 2 days away! ..and I’m asking for a favor: when I said my father was eccentric, I was not referring to his Sikh faith or the turban he wears on his head.”
He’d already clarified that, but it’s good to repeat it again.
Someone being of a minority faith shouldn’t be seen as a goofy quirk, you know?
“I’m not asking you to spare his feelings (or mine) but instead to be cognizant and accepting of the millions of people that belong to the Sikh community.”
That’s so important.
Representation on television is important, and the folks at home can learn a lot that way.
But none of that works if people ridicule or fear someone else because they’re different, you know?
“Although he and I are not close, I respect my father’s decision to follow his heart and pursue the life he has chosen.”
That’s all that you can ask for, you know?
“Let us not criticize him for his appearance or his beliefs because by doing so we are disparaging an entire faith and culture that includes millions of people.”
That’s such an important statement.
“And I know we are all better than that. That is all (for now) #endrant HAPPY SATURDAY PEOPLE”
Dean is just so charming, you know?
As you might recall, he’s a start-up recruiter who has his mother’s initials tattooed to his chest.
So … his job is very Millennial and his personality is more than a little quirky.
Honestly, Dean is likable even when he’s shading another contestant.
Add to that his boyish good looks that are vaguely (vaguely!) reminiscent of The Flash‘s Grant Gustin, and you’ve got a strong contender.
Then you throw in this very sensitive plea for people to respect his dad’s faith, which is shared by millions.
He’s kind of a dream, right?
Of course, sadly, we already know that Rachel isn’t going to choose Dean.
Dean Unglert was spotted on set for Bachelor in Paradise, which is amazing for that show but not great news for his role on The Bachelorette.
(It also means that he won’t be The Bachelor)
Accidental spoilers, much?
You’d think that if this charming guy isn’t Rachel’s pick, she’d be going with the handsome Peter Kraus.
But actually we’re pretty sure that we know who Rachel will choose on The Bachelorette.