In an email to Apple employees late Wednesday, CEO Tim Cook denounced the deadly violence in last weekend, criticised President Trump’s response and pledged to donate $2 million to organizations battling hate groups.
“What occurred in Charlottesville has no place in our country,” the email said, according to BuzzFeed, which obtained a copy. “Hate is cancer, and left unchecked it destroys everything in its path. It’s scarred last generations. History has taught us this time and time again, both in the United States and countries around the world.”
Cook joins a long list of prominent business leaders critical of Trump’s response to the throng of white nationalists, neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan and white supremacy groups that stormed into Charlottesville to protest the planned removal of a Confederate statue. In the chaos, one woman was killed and several injured when a car, allegedly driven by a rally attendee, sped into a crowd of counter-protesters.
The president has said “many sides” were to blame for the violence. So many prominent business leaders took issue with Trump’s position that he was forced to shut down his major business advisory councils after several people resigned.
“We must not witness or permit such hate and bigotry in our country, and we must be unequivocal about it,” Cook said in the email. “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.”
He said this position was not a matter of politics, but about “human decency and morality.”
In light of Charlottesville, Cook said Apple will donate $1 million each to the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center – organizations that track hate groups. The company will also match “two-for-one” employee donations to these and other human rights groups through the end of September, the email said.
“In an email to employees, Apple CEO Tim Cook announces that the company is donating $1 million each to the ADL and SPLC.
Yashar Ali (@yashar) August 17, 2017”
“We’ve seen the terror of white supremacy & racist violence before. It’s a moral issue – an affront to America. We must all stand against it
Tim Cook (@tim_cook) August 14, 2017”
“Heartbreaking scenes in #Charlottesville. Violence and racism have no place in America.