How To Tell Your Abuela That Racist Remarks Aren’t Ever OK 

How To Tell Your Abuela That Racist Remarks Aren't Ever OK belatina latine

There’s always a heart-dropping sensation when you hear racist comments.  

It’s even more disheartening when they come from your close family members. How people still make remarks made due to colorism are beyond us – but let’s face it: people are still shading others based on their skin color. This includes your abuela, too. 

Las doñas are quick to make remarks – or subtle observations, as they would say – based on skin color. They’ve been doing it all their lives; it’s been in some way or another ingrained in them from generation to generation. It’s even subliminally taught in major television novelas: light-skinned actors are always the rich; dark-skinned actors are always the lower class. (And this is not okay.)  

Are we noticing it more now because we’re older? Regardless, it’s time to not only brush off these types of judgments but tackle them. 

What kind of comments are being made in Latine families? 

Chances are, you’ve heard some unnecessary opinions before, but didn’t pay attention to them. They come in different ways too. Has your mom ever complimented a baby as “bonitx” because they’re “güeritx”? Or maybe your abuela has pointed out a baby being “prietx” but “still cute.” What do you mean still cute?  


I have trauma cause of them 😭 #fyp #relatable #abuela #latina #trauma

♬ original sound – Paqjonathan

It’s pretty bizarre listening to conversations now and realizing that our Latine elders could be so harsh and unapologetic about their comments. Where’d this bias come from? 

Other microaggressions can include your parents not letting you go out without sunscreen in fear of you “getting darker,” or judging someone’s character merely based on their skin color.  

Point blank: It’s time to stop normalizing these comments. I don’t care if your abuela thinks you’re being a metiche or loca – they need to do better.  

How to tell them it’s not okay 

Don’t overthink how they may respond. 

Recognize that your loved one can be wrong, but also know that they can learn to correct their mistakes too. Now, if they decide to not listen to you – that’s their ignorance shining. Our job is to call out racism to stop it, especially after checking our own privilege. White Latines and fairer-skinned Latinos will never understand the experiences of Afro-Latines, but we need to remind everyone that racism is one of the most heinous acts any human being can commit. Unfortunately, some people are so close-minded that they will not listen to others – and those are people we don’t need in our lives.  

When you catch prejudiced comments like those aforementioned, simply ask “why?” Put them on the spot, and they’ll be forced to think twice about their racism. 

Scared of the outcome? Don’t be. It may be a hard topic to tackle, but at the end of the day, educating them is a necessity.  

There’s no excuse, really. It’s time for everyone in the Latine community to respect one another and stop idolizing eurocentrism. In other words, stop going hard for features our colonizers forced upon our ancestors once upon a time.  

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