#NBCLatino20: Richard Parker — A Voice for El Paso

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By Raul A. Reyes

In the aftermath of the El Paso shooting — the deadliest attack on Latinos in modern American history — author and journalist Richard Parker has been a passionate, authentic voice for his community. In a media landscape often lacking Latino representation, he has spoken up for his fellow El Pasoans and Mexican-Americans with his pen or in person, bringing his grace and intellect to the coverage of a wrenching tragedy.

Richard Parker.Illustration by Aaron Fernandez for NBC News

Parker is a true son of Texas. The author of "Lone Star Nation: How Texas Will Transform America," the award-winning journalist is a graduate of Trinity University in San Antonio. He has written extensively for national publications about the detention camps, climate change along the border and Texas politics.

But no event hit home for him like the Aug. 3 massacre at his city's familiar Walmart. He wrote about the experience in stark terms for The New York Times, describing it as “a stab in the heart not to your hometown, but to your people, in my case Latinos. (The shooter) specifically came here to my town, to kill my people.”

Parker reminded us that Latinos have always been part of American history: "Of course, Latinos arrived in Texas from Mexico in 1690, when it was all New Spain. My people settled the harsh brush country of south Texas. ... We invaded nothing; we were already here long before (the shooter) was even conceived."

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