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AT&T CEO Speaks to Racial Tension in America, Admits Ignorance to Racism his Black Male Friend Experienced

On Sept. 23, AT&T employees met in Dallas for the company’s eighth annual National Employee Resource Group Conference.

During the conference, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson commented on the current racial issues plaguing the nation.

“Sadly, racial tension is ripping apart the very fabric of our communities right now,” Stephenson starts. “It’s troubling to watch what is happening today in Charlotte, Ferguson, the killing of a Black man in Falcon Heights, Minnesota.”

He adds that the shootings in Orlando, Baton Rouge, and in Dallas are examples of the widening racial chasm.

“We got a problem,” he notes.

The top executive went personal. He acknowledges that he is part of the problem. He says he did not know his close Black friend suffered from racism. Stephenson tells the audience that his friend was called racial slurs, was refused service and followed in store.

“How do we expect to find common ground and solutions for what’s a really serious, serious problem? Our communities are being destroyed by racial tension, and we are too polite to talk about it, even among our best friends.”

Stephenson leaves the audience with one request: “Do not tolerate each other … Understand each other.”

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