Apple CEO Tim Cook took aim at President Donald Trump’s statements defending white nationalists — and pledged in a memo to employees that the company would provide monetary support to anti-hate groups.
Trump, in a bizarre press conference Tuesday, reiterated his stance that “both sides” were to blame for the violence that erupted after white-supremacist and neo-Nazi marchers descended on Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend. The rally led to the deaths of three people.
“We must not witness or permit such hate and bigotry in our country, and we must be unequivocal about it,” Cook wrote in the memo, distributed Wednesday. “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, the chief executive of the largest technology company in the world, is the latest business leader to speak out against Trump in the wake of the violence in Charlottesville. On Wednesday, Trump’s manufacturing advisory panel and the White House’s Strategic and Policy Forum disbanded after numerous executives resigned, looking to distance themselves from the president’s comments.
In his memo to Apple staffers, Cook said the company will make contributions of $1 million each to the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League. In addition, the company will match two-for-one employee donations to these and several other human rights groups, between now and Sept. 30. Also, Apple’s iTunes will soon provide a way for users directly donate to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
“What occurred in Charlottesville has no place in our country,” Cook wrote in the memo. “Hate is a cancer, and left unchecked it destroys everything in its path. Its scars last generations.”