The murder of George Floyd has had a worldwide impact and is putting a spotlight on a problem that has always existed in the United States. His death was not necessary and should never have happened. My heart breaks for his family and I cannot begin to imagine the pain they are feeling.
Our country is said to be, “The Land of Opportunity”, a place where you can live the “American Dream”. This is not true. I am a Mexican American Transgender Woman and I have had to fight all my life to get where I am today. Our country became the “Greatest Nation” because of Black people, Native Americans, Mexicans, and all the immigrants who came here. Their blood, sweat, tears and deaths made this country. They gave their lives because of a promise, an ideal, that they could have freedom and equality.
We need to acknowledge that there is a problem and WE need to work to fix it. No one should have privilege. If we feel that we should be entitled to something because of money, position, title, or whatever we will never fix the problem.
It is possible to have equality! I have seen it and experienced it personally. When I lived in Africa I was part of a project that initially was targeted in helping get young adults off the streets. The idea was to teach them a skill and give them an opportunity to provide for themselves and their families. What they had to overcome was the status of being an outcast, their skin color, their economic status, their tribal status, their gender status and having been taught to fight instead of love. No one believed that it could be done. The project was for three months. We had to tear down all those barriers and from day one we shared that everyone was equal. It was not easy but by the end of the three months it was amazing to see the love, acceptance and respect these young people had for each other. The ripple effect, that had not been anticipated, was the impact it had on the families and community.
I share that story to say equality is achievable. It will take hard work and it will take all of us working together to make it happen.
I stand with the peaceful protesters in insistence that Black Lives Matter.
Be safe. Stay strong. Care for one another.
Marine Veteran Toni Diamond announced her candidacy for South Dakota House of Representatives District 32. With a background in Military Service, Missions work, and now Healthcare, Diamond brings an intention of diversifying and being a voice for education, employment, the environment, the economy, and equality in South Dakota.
“Do I think I’m the best for the job? I think I will do my best in this job,” Diamond said, while thanking her supporters for the opportunity to have her name on the ballot in her historic run as the first transgender woman to run for state office in South Dakota.
A Certified Nurse Assistant, mother, and grandmother, Diamond is passionate about young people in South Dakota - creating opportunities for education and the economy, and the empowerment of voices to speak up for equality in the Black Hills and beyond.
“For years I have watched as lawmakers pass or attempt to pass legislation that reduces equity across the state, ignores marginalized people groups, and impairs the voice of dissent. I am ready for change,” Diamond said.
Diamond’s focus is on showing up, standing up, and speaking out for her neighbors, constituents, and community members across the state. Her involvement in continuing care for aging residents through her job at Westhills Village and continuing opportunities for younger residents through her service as a Board Member at Large for the Black Hills Center for Equality give her a balanced view of the many types of people who contribute to make South Dakota great. She looks forward to running a campaign in District 32, to meeting her district voters, and to making a difference in the state of South Dakota.
For further information, visit www.diamondforchange.com