After U.S. President Donald Trump blamed white nationalists and anti-racism activists equally for violence in Virginia over the weekend, Apple Inc CEO Tim Cook has joined a chorus of business leaders who have voiced their opposition to Trump.
“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 wrote in a note late on Wednesday to employees, according to technology news website Recode.
Apple will match two-for-one their donations to the organizations and other human rights groups until Sept. 30 and will donate $1 million a piece to the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League, Cook also said in the letter.
“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,” Cook wrote.
Protesting over Trump’s remarks blaming weekend violence in Charlottesville, Virginia on anti-racism activists as well as white nationalists that left a 32-year-old woman dead, several chief executives had earlier quit business advisory councils and Cook’s letter came hours after Trump disbanded two of the high-profile business advisory councils following the exodus of the CEOs.
“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,” Cook said.
“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,” Cook added.
several tech news websites reported that Apple Pay was being disabled by the company on several websites that sell attire and items in support of white nationalists and hate groups earlier on Wednesday.
Aiming to cut off services to hate groups or removing material that they said spread hate, Apple joined social media networks Twitter Inc and LinkedIn, music service Spotify Ltd and security firm Cloudflare Inc.
(Adapted from Reuters)