Recent deadly protests in Charlottesville continue to reflect negatively on the embattled US President Donald Trump as top Silicon Valley tech leaders have condemned the violent rally, with Apple CEO Tim telling troops in a company-wide email that “hate is cancer”.
“We must not witness or permit such hate and bigotry in our country, and we must be unequivocal about it,” he wrote in the email communique obtained by BuzzFeed.
“This is not about the left or the right, conservative or liberal,” the email message continues.
“It is about human decency and morality.”
Putting his money where his mouth is, Cook has said that Apple will be making $1 million donations to two civil rights groups—the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League—along with matching employee donations between now and September 30.
Additionally, the iPhone maker has disabled Apple Pay support on websites selling white nationalist and hate group apparel and accessories.
Commenting on Trump’s response to the protests, Cook wrote that he disagrees 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,” reads the memo.
Here’s Cook’s email in full:
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 US 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’ll also match two-for-one our employees’ donations to these and 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 also took to Twitter on Monday to reiterate the message, saying that “violence and racism have no place in America.”
“We’ve seen the terror of white supremacy and racist violence before,” reads another tweet from Cook. “It’s a moral issue—an affront to America. We must all stand against it.”