Tim Cook disagrees with Donald Trump’s response to Charlottesville: “Hate is a cancer”
Tim Cook has sent a letter to Apple’s global employees, pledging contributions of $1 million to both the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League in the wake of Charlottesville, and criticising Donald Trump’s response to the tragedy that left one woman dead.
According to Buzzfeed, who obtained the letter, Cook called on employees to be “unequivocal” about their resistance to hate and bigotry, before taking direct aim at Trump’s approach to the violence in Charlottesville.
“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,” writes Cook. “Equating the two runs counter to our ideals as Americans.”
The letter, which was sent out on Wednesday evening, came on the same day Trump pulled the plug on two White House business councils. A raft of prominent CEOs had stepped down from the councils in recent days, including Kevin Plank of Under Armour and Brian Krzanich of Intel.
Political leaders have also come out against Trump’s weak approach to white supremacism, including Theresa May. When asked about the US president’s response to clashes in Charlottesville, the UK prime minister said it is important to condemn far-right views “wherever we hear them”. Although she didn’t mention Trump by name, the remarks have been read in terms of Trump’s approach to the violence, in which he said there was blame on both sides of the protests.
“I see no equivalence between those who propound fascist views and those who oppose them,” said May.
Cook claims that Apple is “inclusive of everyone”, and that the company will be “stepping up” to support anti-hate organisations. In addition to the contributions of $1 million to both the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League, Cook claims Apple will match two for one its employees’ donations to these and a number of other human-rights groups until 30 September. There are also plans to provide links to these groups via iTunes.
A full transcript of Cook’s letter is below, via Buzzfeed.
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.