Dear Ma Bell,
I hope you don’t mind me calling you by the name I grew up using. My Mother started working for you in 1948, at Southwestern Bell Telephone Company in Dallas, Texas.During Korea, she transferred to Southern Bell in Columbia, South Carolina, but when that conflict was over, you allowed her to move back to Dallas.
Mother met her lifelong best friends working for you. I called them my “Aunts” and still do. They all retired after long, successful careers with you. I grew up a “Telephone kid”; I always had play telephones and my 13th birthday present from Mother was an extension (Western Electric 500 set, green) in my own room.
“Telephone boy” in 1959
In college, I got my first Long Distance account from Southwestern Bell/AT&T. I was a Southwestern Bell, Pacific Bell, NYNEX, South Central Bell, and US West customer for all those years, finally coming “home” to Southwestern Bell. I stuck with AT&T for Long Distance all through the “telephone wars”.
When the time came for cell phones, I got my first from a small local outfit in Little Rock that was quickly gobbled up—by Southwestern Bell. I had Southwestern Bell, then Cingular, and now AT&T. My current wireless provider is AT&T, and my internet service provider is U-VERSE.
In short, in one way or another, I have been a loyal AT&T customer for almost 57 years as of this writing.
Like most of the rest of the civilized world, I am horrified by the events unfolding in Russia, Uganda (well, most of Africa) and other places regarding the oppression of gay people. Russia is ONE STEP away from Stalin-era tactics (and may be employing them now, for all we know). Vladimir Putin can say whatever he likes about the laws being only “to protect children”, but make no mistake—the Pogrom is on in Russia. With a population of 144,000,000, and using Kinsey’s 10%, one can conservatively estimate that 14,400,000 people in Russia are in mortal danger. At the very least, their civil liberties are gone; at the worst, they can be hunted, killed, imprisoned, maimed, and all with tacit—if not outright—approval of the Russian government, the Russian Orthodox Church, and the Russian people.
I fear for them.
The Sochi Olympics are an affront and offensive, considering the evil that the Russian government is promulgating. I feel sorry for all the men and women who have spent their lives training for this Olympic event, only to have it marred by this nasty, wicked crime against humanity in a country that clearly tried democracy and threw it out the window. The “Good Russian People?” Bullshit. You’re hearing it here, folks!: Ronald Reagan was right; they ARE the Evil Empire.
The Human Rights Campaign (of which I am a proud, card-carrying, financially supporting member) has roundly condemned the actions that are taking place in Russia. They have called upon corporate sponsors to condemn the Russian Government for their heinous actions.
Which corporate sponsor has responded? Which bravely stepped forward? Which answered the call?
That’s you, Ma Bell.
I am reproducing AT&T’s post in its entirety, along with the link.
All that said, I believe it’s time to change my status with you, Ma Bell. Instead of being “Lifelong Customer”, implying “the past”, I’m changing my status with you to “Customer for Life”, implying past, present, and future.
Thank you, Ma Bell. You’ve always been there for me.
Proud AT&T Customer-for-life
P.S. I would be remiss if I did not mention the actions of our President, Barack HUSSEIN Obama. Instead of knuckling under to pressure from Russia, and the (hateful) IOC, and from the people on my side calling for an American boycott (which would have accomplished little), he handled this situation masterfully. By declining to send any “major” US officials (as is customary), and by sending instead a star-studded cast of GAY former superstars, Olympians (including multi-gold-medal-recipients), and others, he is sending a powerful message to Putin: we’re sending some of our best and brightest—and they’re queer. Further, we’re not sending our highest elected officials—so put that in your pipe and smoke it, Vlad. (In gayspeak: The O’s throwing some serious shade! Eat it, bitch).
(Personal from Nick to Vladimir: Put your shirt back on. You ain’t all that.)
AT&T blog post: (No copyright infringement intended; if this is problematic, notify me and I will modify immediately).
A Time for Pride and Equality
February 04, 2014
On Friday night, many of us will be tuned in to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games opening ceremony.
It’s an event that symbolizes peace and unity amongst nations. It’s also a moment for us to express our pride in America and everything for which it stands.
AT&T has stood proudly with Team USA at every Olympic opening ceremony since 1984 in Los Angeles. As a Proud Partner of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Team for the past 30 years, we’ve showcased American athletes and celebrated their diversity all around the world. For these games, we’re shining a light on some of the hard work and dedication that goes into training for the Olympics, and asking fans to showcase their American pride by uploading U-S-A chants through our free #ItsOurTime app.
The Olympic Games in Sochi also allow us to shine a light on a subject that’s important to all Americans: equality. As you may know, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community around the world is protesting a Russian anti-LGBT law that bans “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations.” To raise awareness of the issue, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has called on International Olympic Committee (IOC) sponsors to take action and stand up for LGBT equality.
AT&T is not an IOC sponsor, so we did not receive the HRC request. However, we are a long-standing sponsor of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), we support HRC’s principles and we stand against Russia’s anti-LGBT law.
AT&T has a long and proud history of support for the LGBT community in the United States and everywhere around the world where we do business. We support LGBT equality globally and we condemn violence, discrimination and harassment targeted against LGBT individuals everywhere. Russia’s law is harmful to LGBT individuals and families, and it’s harmful to a diverse society.
We celebrate the diversity of all Olympic athletes, their fans, Russian residents and all people the world over – including and, especially, our employees and their loved ones.
As the games begin, we’re here to support and inspire American athletes who’ve worked hard and sacrificed much to achieve their dreams. We also want to be on record with our support for the LGBT community, and we hope that others involved with the Olympic Games will do the same.
Go Team USA! #ItsOurTime.
- See more at: http://blogs.att.net/consumerblog/story/a7793998#__utma=149406063.705766389.1391559895.1391559895.1391561884.2&__utmb=149406063.4.10.1391561884&__utmc=149406063&__utmx=-&__utmz=149406063.1391561884.2.2.utmcsr=google|utmccn=(organic)|utmcmd=organic|utmctr=(not%20provided)&__utmv=-&__utmk=238909952