Apple chief executive Tim Cook took a firm stand against racism in an email to all employees. The email comes after the Charlottesville tragedy, where white supremacists clashed with anti-racist groups. A few hours later, one rallygoer roared his Dodge Chrysler at a crowd of pedestrians, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring 19 others. A state police helicopter monitoring the rally crashed a few hours later, resulting in the death of two state troopers. All of this, called for a response by the highest officials and a response came, just not the one that most people would expect: President Donald Trump commented practically equalizing both sides of the protest.
The polarizing comments have been the most discussed topic in the past few days, and Apple chief executive Tim Cook chimed in with the official position of Apple to bring clarity on where the company stands.
"Hate is a cancer," Cook wrote to employees, saying that Apple should be "unequivocal" about fighting bigotry.
In strong and definite words, Cook distanced himself from Mr. Trump's comments:
"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,"
Cook also committed to making two separate $1 million donations to both the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League, organizations that fight against hate crimes.
You can read the full email right 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.