Dear Prudence

The “Claiming Distant Ancestry” Edition

I used to claim Mexican heritage, even though I’m white. How should I address this now that I know better? Help!

Illustration depicting a female with a microphone

Get More Dear Prudence

Slate Plus members get ad-free versions of all Slate podcasts, plus a bonus episode of Dear Prudence every week. Try it for $1 today.

Join Slate Plus

Episode Notes

Prudence is joined this week by Harry Eskin, a moving-image archivist based in Los Angeles.

Prudie and Eskin dig into letters about if you should apologize for past conversations where you claim a heritage that you truly don’t identify as, how to talk to your mother about the way she neglected your sibling when you were children, and should you preemptively write an apology on LinkedIn for a racist costume you wore for your employer 10 years ago.

Access all of Prudie’s podcasts and columns here.

Got a question for Prudie? Submit it at or leave a voicemail message at 401-371-DEAR (3327), and you may hear your question answered on a future episode of the show.

Production by Phil Surkis.


About the Show

Whether it’s a challenge with a lover, a fight with a difficult roommate or boss, or you just like to hear about the challenges other people face, Dear Prudence is the podcast for you. Every week, Prudie and special guests answer questions about relationships, sex, work, family, and life.

All episodes