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A racial ability is a skill, spell or other ability that is granted to any creature that takes that races form (including from polymorph). Racial abilities belong to the race, and not the character, and are lost upon changing race.
Racial abilities are always granted (never qualified for), and always remain at the proficiency they were granted at.
Gaining the same ability as a racial ability from another means (such as Mindflayers, who have the Charm spell as a racial ability, gaining the Charm spell as a class ability from mage) will allow the player to use the higher of the two percentages to determine successful use of the ability, and may allow gaining proficiency from the non-racial ability (depending upon source of the ability).