Apple CEO Tim Cook has reinforced his position as a moral leader in the country, issuing a memo Wednesday evening condemning racism and bigotry. BuzzFeed News obtained a copy of Cook’s email to the tech giant’s global employees, which not only denounces racism and bigotry on the whole but also President Donald Trump’s press conference remarks in the wake of the tragedy in Charlottesville, Virginia.
‘Hate Is a Cancer’
Cook wrote to Cupertino’s employees that “hate is a cancer,” and noted that Apple must be “unequivocal” about fighting and denouncing bigotry in all forms. He asked that the tech giant’s employees remain united with each other in this pursuit, regardless of their personal political views.
Cook began by reminding his employees that equality “is at the core of my beliefs and values.” He said the events in Charlottesville and throughout the nation have been “deeply troubling” for him, and that he’s heard from many Apple employees who share the same sadness, outrage, and confusion.
It's Not About the Left or the Right
Regardless of your political views, we must all stand together on this one point — that we are all equal.- Tim Cook, Apple CEO
Cook said that human decency and morality should span all political spectrums, and denounced the idea that there is “a moral equivalence between white supremacists and Nazis, and those who oppose them by standing up for human rights.” He wrote that equating the two with each other is counter to American ideals.
Leading by Example, Morally and Financially
Cook doesn’t just want Apple to lead by example morally, either. The company will continue to welcome people from every walk of life into its stores, showing them an all-inclusive attitude that allows others to share their views and express themselves. However, the tech giant is also taking a stance from a financial standpoint.
In the wake of the Charlottesville tragedy, Cook committed to Apple contributing $1 million each to the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League. From now until September 30, the company will also make matching donations at a two-for-one ratio of its employees’ donations to those and several other human rights groups. In the coming days, iTunes users will have an easy route to make their own donations to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Refusing to be Part of Funding Hate
In other news, Apple has also cut off Apple Pay support for three websites selling Nazi and other white nationalist apparel. While some might point out that this signifies Apple only supports freedom of speech for some, the company certainly has a moral obligation to help stem the spread of hatred. You can read Cook’s full memo to Apple’s employees below.
Like so many of you, equality is at the core of my beliefs and values. The events of the past several days have been deeply troubling for me, and I’ve heard from many people at Apple who are saddened, outraged or confused.
What occurred in Charlottesville has no place in our country. Hate is a cancer, and left unchecked it destroys everything in its path. Its scars last generations. History has taught us this time and time again, both in the United States and countries around the world.
We must not witness or permit such hate and bigotry in our country, and we must be unequivocal about it. This is not about the left or the right, conservative or liberal. It is about human decency and morality. I disagree with the president and others who believe that there is a moral equivalence between white supremacists and Nazis, and those who oppose them by standing up for human rights. Equating the two runs counter to our ideals as Americans.
Regardless of your political views, we must all stand together on this one point — that we are all equal. As a company, through our actions, our products and our voice, we will always work to ensure that everyone is treated equally and with respect.
I believe Apple has led by example, and we’re going to keep doing that. We have always welcomed people from every walk of life to our stores around the world and showed them that Apple is inclusive of everyone. We empower people to share their views and express themselves through our products.
In the wake of the tragic and repulsive events in Charlottesville, we are stepping up to help organizations who work to rid our country of hate. Apple will be making contributions of $1 million each to the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League. We will also match two-for-one our employees’ donations to these and several other human rights groups, between now and September 30.
In the coming days, iTunes will offer users an easy way to join us in directly supporting the work of the SPLC.
Dr. Martin Luther King said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.” So, we will continue to speak up. These have been dark days, but I remain as optimistic as ever that the future is bright. Apple can and will play an important role in bringing about positive change.
Tim- Apple CEO Tim Cook's Memo to Employees