AT&T CEO Defends Black Lives Matter (Video)
Mobilizing for social justice… I guess he’s hoping AT&T stores will be spared in the next riot? Sounds like the stockholders need a CEO who can keep his mind on the business. Maybe he’s related to Target’s CEO?
“Tolerance is for cowards.”
That’s just a slice of the blunt talk that AT&T chief executive Randall Stephenson gave to company employees last week as Charlotte, N.C., erupted into protests over the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott.
Speaking to a crowd of several hundred last week, Stephenson’s frankness underscored a sense of personal alarm over the spread of racially charged violence in the United States. Spurred on by events, he spoke urgently about the need for difficult conversations about race — and in so doing became one of the most outspoken corporate leaders on the Black Lives Matter movement.
The full speech was captured on video by an attendee of the event, who posted it on YouTube.
Tolerance and inaction, Stephenson said, is what keeps prejudice and resentment alive behind a curtain of civility, and it’s tearing the country apart.
“Our communities are being destroyed by racial tension,” he said, “and we’re too polite to talk about it.”
Recounting the experience of one of his closest friends, Stephenson described how the effects of race are often hidden to those who don’t grapple with it on a daily basis.
Stephenson admitted he had always been somewhat “confused” by the racial views of his friend, a black physician who served three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. But when he saw him address a mostly white church congregation about being refused service at restaurants, being called “boy” and even fearing being stopped by police in his own neighborhood, Stephenson finally understood the depth of his friend’s frustration.
Now I’ve got to tell you, I get his anger when somebody responds to the Black Lives protest by saying ‘all lives matter,’” Stephenson said. More