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Alexandra on Shoroba

Originally released as, " Don't Ask Don't Tell" by Shoroba on 8/26/2011. Transcript follows:

Shoroba: Because Relationships Matter

Are you or someone you know dating someone outside of your race? How do you feel about it? This is a true story from one of our viewers.

KP: Welcome to Shorba, and today I’m reading an email entitled “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: Hello, my name is Sharon, and I’m from Portland, Oregon. I’m dating a white man, and I don’t want anyone to know it. What would my family, friends and the rest of the world think of me? I know this arrangement of sneaking around is getting old, and I’m beginning to wonder if it’s all worth it. Tom and I have been dating for over a year and we both decided long ago to keep our thing on the down-low. Do you have any suggestions?”

KP: Welcome to Shorba, and today we’re talking about an email entitled: “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell." I’m KP, and today on our panel we have…

Elijah: Hi, I’m Elijah..

Alexandra Chauran: I’m Alexandra.

Kevin: I’m Kevin…

Giselle: Hi, I’m Giselle.

KP: And she doesn’t want anyone to know she’s dating a white man… Giselle: I feel like we’re in the ‘50s. Alexandra Chauran: These things are important. My social Justice Teacher when I was getting my Master’s Degree called these “courageous conversations,” when we had dialogues about race, and she thought that everybody should have dialogues about race. We had a weekly club where people would just get together and talk about race. It’s something that still needs to be talked about.

Elijah: I think everybody should get together with an interracial person so that she can end this because it’s just so old school it Is ridiculous. It’s like 8-track.

KP: It’s like she has to look at herself and decide what she wants for her life because, if she’s in love with someone it shouldn’t matter what culture or race or anything that they are and if she wants to have a long term relationship she’s gonna’ have to introduce them to her family. So, she needs to look at herself and say “what do I really, really want?”

Giselle: I definitely agree with that.

Elijah: So many things going on in life where it actually matters. KP: Like what? Elijah: Like maybe she has to have her husband with her at her job events or…

Giselle: I just feel like we’re in the ‘50s all of a sudden.

Alexandra Chauran: Well, the thing is, you know she’s not fearing his colour, she’s fearng the repercussions obviously, from family, from friends, from people. She needs to talk to other people from he culture who are uninvolved first, and talk about, “how would you like to be introduced to this, and what sort of things should we argue about?” Because it’s going to happen.

KP: But don’t you think she should figure out if she’s in love with this guy first? She’s like, “is it all worth it?” Well, figure that part out first.

Kevin: I was almost considering leaving the panel right now because I’m not feeling very well. I feel like vomiting here. I mean, think about this. She’s been with him for a year, she’s obviously in love with the guy, that’s not an issue. So, if she’s so worried about her family, this is her life, she’s an adult. Take control of your life. You’re an adult. If you’re in love with this man, be in love with this man. There are no repercussions.

KP: How is this different from what we’re saying? Figure out if you’re in love!

Alexandra Chauran: I don’t think she has to be in love to bring up this issue.

Elijah: If she has to ask her friends… That’s not her friends.

Giselle: It’s not the ‘50s, it’s inappropriate for people to say “you can’t date so-and-so because they don’t look like such-and-such.” That is inappropriate in our day and age. It just is.

Kevin: The problem is this is her problem, this is nobody else but hers and she definitely has a problem here. She’s the one who’s ashamed, she’s the one who’s embarrassed, she’s the one who has a hard time talking to her friends and family about this. She has got the problem.

KP: That’s not necessarily true. It’s not that she’s ashamed, it’s that she fears the repercussions.

Alexandra Chauran: Yeah, there might be very real repercussions or there might be just, you know, dirty looks that she doesn’t want to see her family level towards her.

Kevin: What are they going to do? Cut her fingers off?

Elijah: There’s a lot of dirty looks, though, you get a lot of that.

Giselle: Well, if they’re so concerned with that, then don’t date anyone that they’re not going to like for whatever superficial reason. Just write all those people off and only date people that they feel, what they want you to marry.

Elijah: If she doesn’t want to get looks, move out of the country.

KP: I’m irritated by this “what are the repercussions going to be?” You have no idea what her family may or may not do. You have cultural things where people get fingers and toes cut off If they do the wrong thing.

Giselle: That’s my point, though, if it’s that dangerous to date somebody that your family doesn’t like for superficial reasons, then write all those people off and only date people that they’re going to like for whatever they are. Don’t date someone that they might not like if it’s that dangerous.

Kevin: That is ridiculous. Only date people that your family and friends are going to like? Date who you want to date. Be in love with whoever you want to be in love with. Don’t worry about repercussions or what anybody else thinks.

Giselle: He’s a wise man, you should listen to him.

KP: Oh my God, you just called him wise? At any rate, I think that some of us want you to tell everybody, some of us want you to move out of the country, some of us say “go ahead, date people who are of your own race or culture.” We’re kind of interested in what everybody else thinks, so give us some advice, let us know what you think, join the discussion.

Tips for the day: 1. If something like race in regards to your relationship is bothering you so much, you might need to rethink it. 2. If your decision is to stay w this person, you need to tell your family and friends. They’ll end up meeting eventually. 3. Interracial relationships aren’t really a problem anymore. Anyone is free to date whoever they want to.

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Copyright 1999-2015 Alexandra Chauran.