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Nevada Senate Candidate in the GOP primary, Tony Grady speaks to a young man at a campaign event. (Photo: Tony Grady)

Black History Month and My Father’s Legacy

Elevating leaders of color is more than a moral imperative, it is an investment in our shared future

By Tony Grady, February 6, 2024 1:20 pm

As I reflect on Black History Month and what it means, I cannot help but also reflect on a lesson I learned from my father. He taught me that if I centered my life on service, I would be able to do far greater things than if I lived for myself. I am proud of my parents’ legacies: two Black Americans that made their way in a world that was not always kind to them. My father worked overseas with friendly nations to develop their institutions of advanced education and my mother was a nurse dedicated to working for people in some of the most vulnerable communities. Both of them excelled in their roles and never allowed the way others felt about their skin color to dictate how they acted or how hard they worked. 

As we celebrate all that this month means, I am compelled to reflect on the legacies that instilled so much pride and patriotism in me. I am motivated by my father’s lesson to live a life of service and it has proven to be the true measure of my success. My twenty years in the U.S. Air Force commanding 420th Test Squadron gave me the opportunity to shape young pilots and imbue the same sense of purpose in them. I had the opportunity to negotiate peaceful agreements between the U.S. and foreign governments and I worked to advocate for proper use of funds at the Pentagon. My father’s advice has guided me every step. 

Black History Month provides Americans the opportunity to remember the legacies of people just like my mother and father who dedicated everything they had to improving our country. 

It is critical to recognize the resilience, creativity, and tenacity of the Black community throughout American history. 

Air Force Veteran Tony Grady, GOP candidate for U.S. Senate (Photo: Tony Grady)

However, while some use this month to reflect on those who came before us, President Biden and his administration are using it as a time to play politics. The president has lost support from Black Americans because he has ignored the issues that affect us most. The affordability crisis, public safety concerns, and a country free from drug abuse and overdoses continuously rank as the most important issues to voters, and yet, President Biden has acted in opposition to each of those struggles. He has done nothing to cut costs, but has increased taxes on the American people. His administration has been soft-on-crime and allowed criminals to roam our streets freely, and he has allowed an open border to supply opioids to dealers across the country. If President Biden cared at all for the Black community, he would work to address the issues impacting our lives every day. His is a performative activism that does nothing to improve the lives of Black Americans. 

In Nevada, Black supporters are turning their backs on Biden because he has ignored us and our struggles entirely. He campaigned with a promise to make life better for us and for all Americans, but he has gone back on his word. He has left Black Americans behind and they are now doing the same to him. 

Elevating leaders of color is more than a moral imperative, it is an investment in our shared future. As a proud Black American and Air Force Veteran, I believe it’s time to create a new narrative for Black boys and girls – a narrative that I lived. I know what it is like to feel pride in my country and be motivated to leave the world a better place. At the same time, we must hold politicians like President Biden accountable for the damage he is doing to communities of color. It’s not fair to do lip service to get elected and then abandon the change that was promised. I will hold President Biden accountable for his inaction and fight for a brighter future for us all. 

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