Apple CEO Tim Cook announced to employees that he would be donating $1 million each to the SPLC and the ADL and criticised President Donald Trump’s reaction to the recent events in Charlottesville.
The Washington Post reports that Apple CEO Tim Cook sent an internal email to all Apple employees outlining his own thoughts on the recent events in Charlottesville, his disappointment in President Trump’s response and his dedication to donating $2 million combined to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and Anti-Defamation League (ADL). Cook stated in the email that “hate is a cancer” and said, “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.”
Cook outlined Apples plans to donate to the SPLC and the ADL, saying, “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.”
The full letter from Cook reads:
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.
The SPLC has been accused of using its list of “hate figures” as a political tool to silence conservatives in the past. In a 2010 article, journalist Ken Silverstein called the group “essentially a fraud,” stating that the group had “a habit of casually labeling organizations as ‘hate groups.'” Silverstein continued to say, “In doing so the SPLC shuts down debate, stifles free speech, and most of all, raises a pile of money, very little of which is used on behalf of poor people.”
In June of this year, author, columnist, and former Islamic extremist Maajid Nawaz announced that he would be taking a defamation lawsuit against the Southern Poverty Lawsuit Center for listing him as an anti-Muslim extremist. Nawaz stated, “You know who else lists heretics who are deemed to be speaking against the accepted custom within Muslim communities? The jihadists. We know what happens when you list heretics among Muslims in this way. They end up dead.” Nawaz further stated that he believes that groups like the SPLC are putting Muslim reformers who speak out against the current interpretation of Islam in danger.
The SPLC was identified by convicted domestic terrorist Floyd Lee Corkins as the inspiration for his attack on the Family Research Council in 2012.