Message from SD Democratic Chair Randy Seiler: Justice for All 

Sioux Falls, SD (June 6th, 2020) – No person of conscience or character can watch the video of George Floyd’s last moments without being horrified. His death in Minneapolis and Ahmaud Arbery’s death in Georgia are stark reminders of the violence people of color face every day in America. This, however, is not a Minnesota or Georgia problem, it is also a South Dakota problem. Recent comments by a Pennington County Sheriff’s Office employee and a Contractor with the South Dakota Attorney General’s Office are evidence that these issues exist right here at home. Additionally, Native Americans are killed in police encounters at a higher rate than any other racial or ethnic group according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 1999 to 2015. What has become abundantly clear is that our nation’s work to ensure the civil rights of all people is not done. We must all do our part. 

The past week has illustrated both the important role of government and the difficult decisions that government officials must make. Sometimes these decisions fall woefully short in serving the public good. As humans we have a right to have and express our views peacefully and constructively. The South Dakota Democratic Party supports your right to be angry or sad and express your views consistent with your rights guaranteed under the Bill of Rights. 

In the worst of ways, these ongoing events present us with an opportunity. We must seize the moment to create a safe and respectful environment in South Dakota where everyone’s rights are respected. We must address the difficult questions and perceptions regarding race, ethnicity, and gender bias. Perhaps it goes without saying that racism and bigotry should not be tolerated in South Dakota. Unfortunately, the insidious nature of racism is often much more covert. Sometimes, it may be as basic as – if you see or hear racist comments or actions – say something. If we can use this moment in history to help people and our State grow together, all of this pain, suffering and violence will not have been in vain. The South Dakota Democratic Party will be there to do our part to ensure “justice for all”. 

Please direct questions to SDDP Executive Director Pam Cole via email or phone (605) 695-1996.