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Tim Cook addresses Charlottesville hate march in company-wide email – read it here

Published Aug 17th, 2017 8:51AM EDT
Neo Nazis Tim Cook
Image: Shutterstock

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In the wake of the white nationalist march on Charlottesville this past weekend, a number of white supremacist websites have found it increasingly difficult to remain online and solicit donations from supporters. In perhaps the most high-profile example, the neo-nazi website Daily Stormer was kicked off of GoDaddy a few days ago. Following that, the hate oriented website was also prevented from registering with Google, ultimately forcing the site to resurface on the dark web. On a related note, GoFundMe earlier this week removed a crowdfunding campaign seeking to raise money for James Alex Fields, the Nazi supporter responsible for driving his car into a crowd of protestors this past weekend, an act which ultimately claimed the life of an innocent woman.

In a similar vein, Apple recently confirmed that it will no longer allow white supremacist websites to accept online payments via Apple Pay. According to BuzzFeed, Apple’s move has already impacted a number of websites that sell an array of white supremacy themed merchandise. Though Apple didn’t provide much detail, a company spokesperson indicated that Apple has never allowed the service to be used on “sites promoting hate, intolerance, and violence.”

Addressing the matter directly with employees, Tim Cook in a company-wide email said that Apple was going to donate $1 million to both the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League. Cook also said that Apple will “match two-for-one” any donations employees make to either of the aforementioned groups or other human rights organizations.

Cook’s full letter to employees, originally obtained by BuzzFeed, reads as follows:


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.



All in all, white supremacists and white supremacist websites have encountered a number of roadblocks from a wide array of tech companies over the past few days. In addition to the examples listed above, the following tech companies have taken steps to prevent white supremacists from using their services and spreading messages of hate: Uber, Facebook, Airbnb, and CloudfFlare.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.