The CEO of one of the country's most prominent and powerful corporations did what the president has shown himself unable to do: unequivocally condemn white supremacy and hatred. In a letter to employees, Apple's Tim Cook made clear the company's values. There's one quote from Cook's email about Charlottesville that the whole country needs to consider.
In the text of the email, which was obtained in full by Recode, Cook explained that what happened in Charlottesville "has no place in our country." He then took to explaining why this matters to both sides of the political spectrum, as opposed to blaming it on both. Cook wrote:
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.
What happened in Charlottesville has been condemned by the left and right. Much of the political establishment gets that. One doesn't though, and it's President Trump. The letter came after Trump's return Tuesday to casting equal blame on what he called the "alt-left" at a press conference in Trump Tower, pleasing leaders in the white nationalist movement.
Thus it's important to hammer home this message, that this is not a partisan political issue, but rather an American ideal that white nationalism and Nazism are wrong and un-American. Veterans died in both the Civil War and World War II to defeat these ideals. To see Swastikas being carried around Charlottesville should be rejected by all.
"Regardless of your political views, we must all stand together on this one point — that we are all equal," Cook wrote. The Apple CEO also spoke of the ramifications of this hatred. "Hate is a cancer, and left unchecked it destroys everything in its path," Cook wrote. "Its scars last generations."
He also noted that Apple, as a company, has been a positive force in the effort to "ensure that everyone is treated equally and with respect." "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," he added.
In the note, Cook committed to financially supporting human rights organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League. Both have a long history working to fight hate groups, and they will get $1 million each from Apple. There also will be a way to donate to the SPLC via iTunes in the coming days.
Cook ended with a Martin Luther King, Jr. quote that is extremely appropriate. "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.” Cook promised to keep speaking up, and you should too.