|Apple CEO Tim Cook
Image credit: CNN Money
On Wednesday Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, announced that the company would donate $1 million each to the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League. In addition he announced that the company would match, on a two-for-one basis, employee contributions to human rights groups through September 30.
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.
This comes in the wake of a report on CNN identifying hate groups throughout the nation. Some are are trying to convince the public that they are not odious because they are “Christian.” Liberty Counsel, for example, is threatening to sue a broadcasting group. Alliance Defending Freedom is hinting at similar action against Phoenix media (without a direct threat) and AFA claims that CNN put its safety at risk.
The entire Christian right seems to be saying “Floyd Corkins” in unison (Corkins was the FRC shooter) as if it had some applicability to SPLC’s hate group designations. They choose to forget that a 2915 mass shooting at a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado killed three and injured nine. How much violence do these groups inspire in public schools towards LGBT youth? The hate groups also claim that SPLC is somehow connected to the shooting of Steve Scalise because the shooter liked SPLC on Facebook. That is an example of absurdism.
Late Thursday afternoon, American Family Association pleaded in an email: “Tell #FakeNewsCNN to stop putting AFA in danger. Hate group leader Tim Wildmon went on to write:
This week, CNN listed the American Family Association as a “hate group” in a sham news article that could easily incite violence and place AFA employees and supporters in harm’s way. CNN has since issued a correction and removed AFA by name off their website. Instead, CNN links to the Southern Poverty Law Center website which falsely lists AFA as a “hate group.”
Falsely? These folks think that their sanctimony is a hate license. These groups are all highly bigoted and seek to marginalize LGBT citizens. What is false is their portrayals of gay and trans people. They uniformly equate homosexuality with bestiality and call trans kids “gender confused.” They insist that we can all be “cured” of our sexuality to appease their deity and fault us for not “repairing” our sexuality.
They promote bullshit research and are antagonistic to any form of anti-discrimination protection. These people have earned their designation as hate groups.