During the night of Aug. 16, Apple CEO Tim Cook sent an e-mail to all of the firm’s employees about the protests and violence he gave in Charlottesville, Virginia, as well as President Donald Trump’s criticized response to the events.
In the letter, the CEO denounced the behavior and beliefs of the white supremacist groups that organized protests in Charlottesville, as well as Trump’s questioned words where he equated the moral responsibility of nationalist groups and those who protested their actions.
“I do not agree with the president and others who believe there is a moral equivalence between white supremacists and Nazis, and those who oppose them for defending human rights,” Cook wrote. “Matching the two is contrary to our ideals as Americans.”
Before sending this internal memo, Cook expressed similar sentiments through Twitter during the immediate hours of the events.
In addition to these public stances, Cook in February spoke out against the initial travel ban that President Trump signed to stem US immigration from Muslim-majority nations. Apple joined a further 96 signatures in a document condemning the initiative. The letter stated that the order “discriminated on the basis of national origin and religion” and was “inflicting substantial damage on US companies.”
In his letter to Apple employees this week, Cook urged his team to keep all united as equals in the face of hatred, and announced that the corporation is committed to donating more than two million to civil rights organizations.
Then you can read the complete email.
Team, As for many of you, equality is the core of my beliefs and values. The events of the last few days have been deeply troubling to me, and I have heard from many people at Apple that they are saddened, indignant or confused.
What happened in Charlottesville does not take place in our country. Hate is a cancer, and it is not controlled, it destroys everything in its path. Their scars last for generations. History has taught us that over and over again, both in the United States and in other countries of the world.
We must not witness or allow such hatred and intolerance in our country, and we must be unequivocal in this regard. It is not about the left or the right, conservative or liberal. It is about having human decency and morality. I disagree with the president and others who believe there is a moral equivalence between white supremacists and Nazis, and those who oppose them for defending human rights. Equating both positions is contrary to our ideals as Americans.
Regardless of each other’s political opinions, we must all be united on this 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 think Apple has led by example and we will continue to do that. We have always welcomed people from all walks of life in our stores around the world and have shown them that Apple is inclusive for all. We empower people to share their points of view and express themselves through our products.
Following the tragic and repulsive events in Charlottesville, we are working to help organizations that work to rid our country of hate. Apple will make one million dollar contributions to both the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League. We will match donations of our employees two to one to these and other human rights groups, from today until September 30.
In the coming days, iTunes will offer its users an easy way to join us to directly support the work of these organizations.
Dr. Martin Luther King said, “Our lives are beginning to end the day we shut up about the things that matter.” So we’ll keep talking. These days have been dark, but I am still as optimistic as ever that the future is bright. Apple can and will play an important role in positive change.