Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks out on George Floyd, racism in open letter

Cook says people must commit to creating a better, more just world.

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The open letter was highlighted prominently on Apple's website.

Screenshot by CNET

Apple CEO Tim Cook on Thursday published an open letter on racism, calling for his company to do more to create change. 

"To create change, we have to reexamine our own views and actions in light of a pain that is deeply felt but too often ignored," reads the letter, which was published on Apple's website. "Issues of human dignity will not abide standing on the sidelines. To the Black community — we see you. You matter and your lives matter."

The open letter echoes a memo Cook sent to Apple employees earlier this week following the killing of George Floyd. The 46-year-old unarmed black man died after a white police officer jammed a knee onto his neck for nearly nine minutes. The officer was fired and has been charged with murder.

In the open letter, Cook said Apple is donating to several organizations, including the Equal Justice Initiative, that are working to challenge racial injustice and mass incarceration. The company is also committed to looking inward to make progress on inclusion and diversity, according to Cook.

"This is a moment when many people may want nothing more than a return to normalcy, or to a status quo that is only comfortable if we avert our gaze from injustice. As difficult as it may be to admit, that desire is itself a sign of privilege," reads the letter. "George Floyd's death is shocking and tragic proof that we must aim far higher than a 'normal' future, and build one that lives up to the highest ideals of equality and justice."

Apple is one of several tech giants to pledge funds to groups battling racial injustice after the death of Floyd sparked protests across the US. On Wednesday, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the search giant would give $12 million, and Amazon said it will donate $10 million. Facebook, Verizon, Intel, TikTok and other companies have also said they'll give funds to various groups focused on social justice and aiding black communities.

Watch this: Tech giants pledge funds to fight racial injustice, Facebook employees stage protest