Telecom giant AT&T, whose current holdings include WarnerMedia and DC Comics, is the latest American corporation to have been found pushing the concept of critical race theory upon its employees.
According to a set of documents obtained by independent reporter and vocal critical race theory opponent Christopher F. Rufo, AT&T has been promoting a new ‘Listen. Understand. Act.’ initiative which seeks to provide employees with a number of online “tools to better educate and inform yourself on racial equality” – all of which are based heavily on critical race and social justice schools of thought.
For example, resources provided by AT&T in their Listen. Understand. Act. portal include a video of Robin DiAngelo speaking on “white fragility,” Ibram X. Kendi’s book “Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America,” and a column by Dahleen Glanton published by the Chicago Tribune titled, “White America, if you want to know who’s responsible for racism, look in the mirror.”
“White people, you are the problem,” declares Glanton in her column. “Regardless of how much you say you detest racism, you are the sole reason it has flourished for centuries. And you are the only ones who can stop it.”
Another resource provided by AT&T in the online portal is a “21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge,” developed by diversity education, research, and consulting firm America & Moore, which invites employees to “do one action [a day] to further [their] understanding of power, privilege, supremacy, oppression, and equity.”
To that end, suggested actions include reading articles such as “Explaining White Privilege to a Broke White Person,” by Gina Crosley-Corcoran, listening to Nikole Hannah-Jones’ audio rendition of her widely criticized and all-but-denounced 1619 project, or watching a video by Trent Shelton which “speaks to the negative pull we can feel from old friends when we try to spread our wings.”
This last resource carries a seemingly sinister connotation, being included in the challenge in an ostensible attempt to emotionally manipulate and prime viewers into rejecting any future criticism or concern of their new-taught potential CRT-heavy leanings from loved ones, as the video does not specifically discuss anything related to race or social justice, but is in fact merely a Tony Robbins-esque speech written by the former NFL wide-receiver in promotion of his inspirational book, The Greatest You: Face Reality, Release Negativity, and Live Your Purpose.
In an April 20th email sent by AT&T CEO John Stankey in discussion of the company’s commitment to CRT-based activism, the executive told employees, “As I said last summer, we have a moral and business obligation to engage on this issue of racial injustice, to live up to our value to Stand for Equality for our employees and to actively participate in helping create an equitable society.”
“And we have worked to do just that, inside and outside of AT&T,” he added. “But we have much more to do.”
“In the past year, we have put AT&T resources and leadership to work toward initiatives that we believe can advance economic opportunity, overcome systemic educational barriers, and help to reform law enforcement,” Stankey explained. “The vast majority of law enforcement officers do good work to serve and protect all of us equally. But it’s also clear from the disturbing racial injustices that continue to happen that we need systemic reforms in police departments across the country.”
“This is where we’ve been most involved,” he asserted. “Because all AT&T employees benefit by living in safe communities characterized by trusted relationships between law enforcement and those they serve. This translates into our employees’ well-being at work and our ability to recruit a diverse and capable workforce in our communities.”
As of writing, AT&T has not responded to Rufo’s requests for comment.
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