I’ve always known racism. I’ve always known bigotry. Often, they were my neighbors.

I grew up in a conservative, rural, mostly white town. I had no choice but to be conscious of the color of my skin and my Spanish last name. I was different.

I’ve been told to “go back” to places I’ve never been: Africa, the Middle East and Mexico. I’ve been called more racial, ethnic and religious slurs than I care to remember.

Read the full article at the Roanoke Times.

Robert P. Alvarez is a communications assistant at the Institute for Policy Studies.

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