The gay CEO of Apple has sent an email to the company’s global workforce condemning racism and bigotry. It follows the violent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend.
Rightwing protestors, white nationalists and Neo-Nazis had gathered to protest the removal of a statue of confederate general Robert E. Lee They were met by a large police presence and counter protestors rallying against hate and white supremacy.
In the violence that erupted, one woman, Heather Heyer, was killed and scores of others were injured.
President Donald Trump has been widely criticized for his response to the protests. His initial response was to condemn both group of protestors. Many have slammed his seeming reluctance to denounce the white supremacists and their cause.
In the last couple of hours, the President tweeted his sorrow at seeing statues being taken down.
Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments. You…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 17, 2017
‘We must not witness or permit such hate and bigotry in our country’
Apple CEO Tim Cook sent an email to employees Wednesday night. Buzzfeed printed a copy of the memo.
It ran as follows:
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.
‘Apple has led by example, and we’re going to keep doing that’
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.
Cook is the latest CEO to speak out about events in Charlottesville. Earlier this week, the CEOs of Merck, Under Armour, and Intel resigned from two key White House business advisory forums in protest at President Trump’s response to Charlottesville.
Ken Frazier, CEO of Merck, announced his decision Monday via Twitter.
— Merck (@Merck) August 14, 2017
Trump was quick to tweet a response, saying: ‘“Now that Ken Frazier of Merck Pharma has resigned from President’s Manufacturing Council,he will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!’
Yesterday, following further resignations from the business advisory boards, including the CEO of Campbell Soup and 3M, the President announced that he was disbanding both boards.
‘Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both. Thank you all!’
Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both. Thank you all!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 16, 2017