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    August 17, 2017

    Tim Cook issues anti-racism memo to employees in the wake of Charlottesville

    tim cook anti-racism memo

    Apple CEO Tim Cook has issued an internal memo to company employees in the wake of white supremacist-led protests in Charlottesville.

    Charlottesville, Virgina became a hotbed of controversy this week as white-supremacist led groups clashed with anti-racism organizations during the removal of several confederate monuments in the town – and now Apple CEO Tim Cook has joined the fray by issuing an internal memo to all company employees.

    Cook – who has, in the past, been unafraid to speak his mind on political and environmental issues – has taken the opportunity to issue an internal letter to company employees outlining his company’s stance on racism.

    Read: Apple gifts limited edition Apple Watch bands to employees

    The CEO offered some criticism of the Trump administration in the process – stating that “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”.

    The letter is one of several Cook has issued in the recent past to communicate his company’s ideals with employees. The CEO further confirmed that he would commit Apple to making two separate million-dollar donation in the coming days to both the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League, respectively.

    The full letter 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

    Read: Google is set to pay Apple $3 billion to remain iOS’ default search engine

    What are your thoughts? How could other leading technology companies express their stance on controversial political issues? Be sure to let us know your opinion in the comments below!

    Follow Bryan Smith on Twitter: @bryansmithSA

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