Apple Pledges Donations To SPLC And ADL Following Charlottesville

Ian Miles Cheong | Contributor

In the wake of Charlottesville this past weekend, Apple is pledging to support the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League with donations in its fight against white nationalism.

The Daily Caller acquired a memo from Apple CEO Tim Cook, sent Wednesday, in which he expressed the company’s plans to contribute a million dollars in donations to both the ADL and SPLC and match its employees contributions to either organization, and other human rights groups by two-for-one.

“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,” wrote Cook, “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,” he continued. “Equating the two runs counter to our ideals as Americans.”

The SPLC, one of the two organizations explicitly named by Apple, has a habit of calling people extremists and white supremacists with little regard for truth. Anti-radical Muslim activists Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Maajid Nawaz were condemned as “anti-Muslim extremists,” alongside a dozen other people who have been critical of radical Islam.

The organization typically releases lists of “members” of the alt-right, designating people like gay conservative firebrand Milo Yiannopoulos as proponents of hate due to his opposition to political correctness.

The memo in full:

Team,

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.

Best,

Tim

Ian Miles Cheong is a journalist and outspoken media critic. You can reach him through social media at @stillgray on Twitter and on Facebook.

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