Apple Pledges $2 Million to Fight Racism After Charlottesville Tragedy

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In the wake of violent protests that erupted last Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia, Apple CEO Tim Cook on Wednesday opined a thoughtful yet condemnation-infused memo to his employees all around the world — within which he not only condemned the hate and bigotry surrounding the racially-motivated tragedy, but also President Donald Trump’s press conference remarks concerning the events, according to a copy of the memo obtained by BuzzFeed News. Cook also pledged that his company will donate $2 million to help fight hate.

“Hate is a cancer,” Cook wrote in the memo, while adding that Apple and its employees must be “unequivocal about fighting and denouncing” all forms of bigotry. Regardless of their political views, Cook called on his employees to come together in unity, while reaffirming that Apple is strongly committed to human rights and inclusivity for all. Notably, Cook also chastised President Trump over what he referred to as the Commander-in-chief’s “moral equivalence” between white supremacists and anti-racist protesters.

“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,” Cook noted, while adding that “Equating the two runs counter to our ideals as Americans.”

Cook went on to note that Apple will be making two, $1 million donations — one to the Southern Poverty Law Center, and another to the Anti-Defamation League — in hopes of fighting racial injustice and promoting unity in the wake of these violent events. He also noted that Apple will match its employee’s personal contributions to these and other human rights groups, two-for-one, through the month of September. Similarly, Apple will soon offer its customers a way to contribute to the Southern Poverty Law Center via iTunes.

A copy of Cook’s memo is provided 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.


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