My Grandma Is Racist

She hates exactly half of me, the Latina half

Lisa Martens
ZORA
Published in
4 min readApr 18, 2019

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Photo: Ian Ross Pettigrew/Getty Images

She dislikes exactly 50% of me — the Brown half. The Latina half. The half that invaded her suburban fairy tale to knock up her daughter.

She has itemized me in dressing rooms. She likes my “White” legs but not my “Latin” hips. She likes my eye shape but not the color. She likes my Jennifer Aniston straight hair but not the dark chestnut hue.

She has called my thighs fat and then bought me clothes.

She has encouraged me to say I’m Italian. “You could pass,” she has said. She has encouraged me to marry White so my kids would (possibly) look more White and I would “fix” my mother’s “mistake.”

She is a part of me.

I have her love for true crime, for puzzles, for sudoku. We both actually know how to play minesweeper and are good at it. We have the same shoe size, and we have the same taste in shoes. I have her love of travel and her anger. Like her, I can go from calm, to enraged, to calm again.

Racists are assholes. Their problem with me being mixed is and always will be their problem, not mine.

For those of you who will use this as an excuse to say that mixed kids are “confused” and therefore couples shouldn’t mix, just admit that you are racist.

Do not factor racism into your decision to have mixed kids or not. Have kids as an expression of love. Decide who you want to have kids with as an expression of love. Not to please a racist grandma.

And, at the same time, if you cannot genuinely love someone who is of a different race, then don’t force yourself as some misguided act of charity. You’re not Mother Teresa if you have a mixed kid. You’re not saving the planet.

Have kids as an expression of love. They may be mixed. They may not be. That should be irrelevant to the love and respect you have for your partner.

I was never confused about who I was. I have awesome parents who love me. And I have always known that racists are assholes. Their problem with me being mixed is and always will be their problem, not mine. It’s their rage, their anger that’s theirs to carry.

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Lisa Martens
ZORA
Writer for

A remote working Latina. Storytelling is a calling. Read, support, and more here: https://linktr.ee/lisathewriter