Tech Industry

Apple CEO Tim Cook pens memo denouncing white supremacy

Cook says in a note to employees that he disagrees with the president that Nazis are on the same level as those who oppose them.

US-POLITICS-TECHNOLOGY

Apple CEO Tim Cook (left) and US President Donald Trump at an American Technology Council roundtable at the White House in Washington, DC, on June 19, 2017.

Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

Apple CEO Tim Cook on Wednesday joined the chorus of voices denouncing white supremacy and President Donald Trump's response to the tragedy in Charlottesville, Virginia.

In a note sent Wednesday, Cook firmly urges employees to denounce hatred and bigotry, as reported earlier by Recode and confirmed by Apple to CNET. He also pledged to donate $1 million each to the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League.

"We must not witness or permit such hate and bigotry in our country, and we must be unequivocal about it," the note reads. "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."

Cook isn't the only CEO to throw down against President Trump's words, wherein he blamed "both sides" for the tragedy. The last few days has also seen President Trump's American Manufacturing Council dissolve as CEOs sought to distance themselves from the Trump administration.

Cook's note in full reads:

Team,

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.

Best, 
Tim

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