‘You are the problem’: AT&T recommends articles to staff stating white people are racist
White AT&T employees were asked to read an article saying they were racist, confess their “white privilege” and acknowledge “systemic racism”, and must commit to fixed texts or else they will be penalized in their performance evaluations. .
John Stankey, who took charge of AT&T in July 2020, encouraged his staff to use an anti-racism education program called the Listen Understanding Act.
AT&T, in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder, launched an internal program called the Listen Understanding Act.
John Stankey, CEO of AT&T, wrote to the company’s 230,000 employees in an April 2021 email, obtained by journalist Christopher Rufo and posted on his website.
Stankey, who took over as CEO in July 2020, urged his employees to make the most of the resources provided by AT & T’s anti-racism portal.
“As individuals, we can make a difference by doing our part to advance racial equity and justice for all,” he wrote.
“If you are looking for tools to better educate yourself and learn about racial equality, there are resources available on Listen. Understand. Act.
“We also encourage you to actively participate in our recently launched Equality First learning experience, a new initiative to raise awareness and action around our value in championing equality. “
Most employees are not required to participate in the Listen Understanding Act program, but AT&T managers are now assessed annually on diversity issues – with mandatory participation in programs such as focus groups, reading, mentoring programs and racial re-education exercises, according to Rufo’s source.
The source told Rufo that employees are being asked to sign a loyalty pledge to “keep pushing for change.” They are encouraged to sign up for “intentions” such as “to learn about systemic racism” and “to challenge the hateful language of others”.
The source, described as a senior executive, said: “If you don’t, you are racist.”
AT&T Headquarters in Dallas, TX is pictured. Company donated $ 21.5 million to causes working to improve racial justice
Rufo has published several pages of the Listen Understanding Act portal.
One of the recommended reads was a May 31, 2020 article from the Chicago Tribune by columnist Dahleen Glanton, titled: ‘White America, if you want to know who is responsible for racism, look in the mirror.’
The article claims America is a “racist society” and says “white people are the problem.”
“No matter how much you say you hate racism, you’re the only reason it has thrived for centuries,” Glanton writes.
She adds that “American racism is a distinctly white trait and black people cannot be racist.”
He continues that white women “have told black men lies since they were first brought to America in chains” and that they “take advantage of the opportunities and privileges that white supremacy affords them” and “if you are white you have to look at yourself in the mirror feel guilt and walk away.
The portal also recommended books such as White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, by Robin DiAngelo, and White Awake: An Honest Look at What It Means to Be White, by Daniel Hill.
DiAngelo’s book was among those recommended to AT&T employees
In the “Take Action” section of the training program, Rufo reported, AT&T is encouraging employees to participate in a “21 Day Race Equity Challenge.”
The plan, he said, is based on the concepts of “whiteness”, “white privilege” and “white supremacy” and participants must commit to “take action.” [per day for 21 days] go further [their] understanding of power, privilege, supremacy, oppression and fairness. ‘
The challenge begins with a series of lessons on “whiteness,” which claims, among other things, that “white supremacy [is] anchored in the foundation of our country ”, that“ whiteness is one of the biggest and oldest scams ever perpetrated ”and that“ the weaponization of whiteness ”creates a“ constant barrage of damage ”for minorities .
Participants are told, “Notice your biases and judgments as they arise. It’s gold for you to dig into your subconscious! ‘
Suggestions include things like: “Prepare to stop racial jokes.” Click HERE for advice on how to do this. ‘
The authors of the 21 Day Challenge say, “We believe that understanding white privilege is a powerful tool for understanding the complexities of social justice work, so we have focused our resources on this specific issue.
A man walks with an umbrella in front of AT&T headquarters on March 13, 2020
An AT&T spokesperson told DailyMail.com that Rufo’s report was “misleading” and “filled with misinformation and inaccuracies.”
“Our goal is to create a civil, inclusive and understanding workplace,” said the spokesperson.
“The City Journal’s misleading message is filled with misinformation and inaccuracies, including the ludicrous claim that we require employees to participate in ‘racial re-education’ exercises. This is patently false.
“We are simply providing resources for employees that they can use on a voluntary basis to facilitate conversations that are important to them, our customers and the communities we serve.
“Whether or not an employee uses these resources is up to them and does not affect their annual performance score.
“We have a long and proud history of valuing diversity, equality and inclusion, and we will continue to do so. ”
On August 23, as part of a comprehensive review of anti-racist activities by U.S. companies, The Washington Post reported that AT&T had made lobbying for police reform part of the job of its employees.
AT&T Western Region President Ken McNeely told the newspaper that employees in the legislative and public affairs teams have included lobbying for police reform in their annual review.
“Our financial contributions to support police reform are only part of the pie,” McNeely said, after the newspaper reported that AT&T had donated $ 21.5 million to law enforcement causes. racial justice.
“We’ve actually taken a more direct route: filing a testimonial or letter of support on our behalf – using our brand – is in many cases more effective than giving money to a third party.”
The company is not the first to impose a critical theory of race on its employees. Earlier this month, Walmart forced more than 1,000 executives to take training that teaches whites are guilty of “white supremacist thinking” and “internalized racial superiority.”
Walmart launched the training program in 2018 under the leadership of CEO Doug McMillon through the Racial Equity Institute – a North Carolina-based company that works with universities, government agencies, and businesses – making the program mandatory for executives and recommending it to hourly paid employees.
According to documents leaked to the City Journal, the program begins with the claim that the United States is a “white supremacist system” designed by white Europeans “for the purpose of granting and maintaining white skin access. to power and privileges “.
The whistleblower also claimed that McMillon believes in critical race theory and hopes to export the program to other large companies through his role as chairman of the Business Roundtable, which includes more than 200 of America’s largest companies. .
Despite the commitment to promoting diversity and racial equality, only one of Walmart’s nine senior executives is not white, global chief technology officer Suresh Kumar, and the vast majority of his 40 vice presidents are white.
The six top executives are said to have received a combined salary of $ 112 million in 2019.