AT&T says “Black Lives Matter.” So why are they donating to GOP Sen. Tom Cotton?
As protests calling for racial justice spread across the nation, AT&T quickly jumped on the Black Lives Matter corporate bandwagon to “stand for equality and embrace freedom.” Now we know these words ring very hollow.
According to recent reporting by Judd Legum at Popular Information, AT&T’s political arm has donated $21,000 to Republican Senator Tom Cotton, a Trump loyalist with a 6% rating from the NAACP who recently sent out a series of racist tweets calling for the military to give “no quarter” to people protesting the murder of Black people. “No quarter” is a term generally regarded to mean to kill the enemy rather than take prisoners.
Cotton then penned a controversial piece of propaganda in the New York Times, which many staffers at the Times believed put Black lives in danger, urging Donald Trump to deploy the military on protestors, calling them “nihilist criminals” and “left-wing radicals.”
Through its political action committee, AT&T is one of Tom Cotton’s top five corporate donors. In addition, AT&T’s CEO Randall Stephenson personally donated $5,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee earlier this year, which will help the campaigns of Tom Cotton and other Republicans in the Senate.
When asked about the hypocrisy of corporations like AT&T who say one thing to customers then continue to support politicians like Tom Cotton, Rashad Robinson, president of Color of Change, said, “You can’t say Black Lives Matter or get credit for supporting the movement and give your dollars and support to political leaders who unabashedly advance policies, people and practices that will kill us.” (Color of Change is long-time CREDO ally and grantee. We recently donated an extra $50,000 to help the organization continue their critical work fighting injustice in all its forms.)
AT&T has yet again proven it is putting profits over progress and doesn’t support our values. These actions by AT&T’s political organization are just another in a long line of examples of AT&T getting into bed with the extreme right-wing to cash in:
- AT&T donated $2 million to Trump’s inauguration to curry favor
- AT&T donated $2.7 million to 193 anti-LGBTQ politicians
- AT&T donated $200,000 to anti-abortion politicians
- AT&T helped re-elect white supremacist Congressman Steve King
- AT&T made more than $1.8 million from Customs and Border Protection’s fascist deportation agenda
- AT&T paid $600,000 to Trump’s convicted lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen to possibly help end net neutrality protections
- AT&T heavily lobbied Republicans for a massive corporate tax break then laid off its workers.
At CREDO, we will never align ourselves with right-wing hate. We have always believed that Black Lives Matter, and we have the receipts to prove it. Over the years, we’ve financially supported the work of organizations like the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Color of Change and a number of groups advancing the Black Lives Matter movement. In total, our members have helped us donate more than $14 million to organizations fighting for civil rights.
If you’d like to join the mobile company that shares your values and the fight for Black lives, please visit CREDO Mobile to make the switch today.