Apple CEO Tim Cook pens open letter: ‘Speaking up on racism’

Apple CEO Tim Cook has penned an open letter, published on Apple’s website, and linked to atop the Apple.com homepage, titled “Speaking up on racism.”

Tim Cook letter: Speaking up on racism

Here it is, verbatim:

Speaking up on racism

Right now, there is a pain deeply etched in the soul of our nation and in the hearts of millions. To stand together, we must stand up for one another, and recognize the fear, hurt, and outrage rightly provoked by the senseless killing of George Floyd and a much longer history of racism.

That painful past is still present today — not only in the form of violence, but in the everyday experience of deeply rooted discrimination. We see it in our criminal justice system, in the disproportionate toll of disease on Black and Brown communities, in the inequalities in neighborhood services and the educations our children receive.

While our laws have changed, the reality is that their protections are still not universally applied. We’ve seen progress since the America I grew up in, but it is similarly true that communities of color continue to endure discrimination and trauma.

I have heard from so many that you feel afraid — afraid in your communities, afraid in your daily lives, and, most cruelly of all, afraid in your own skin. We can have no society worth celebrating unless we can guarantee freedom from fear for every person who gives this country their love, labor, and life.

At Apple, our mission has been and always will be to create technology that empowers people to change the world for the better. We’ve always drawn strength from diversity, welcomed people from every walk of life to our stores around the world, and strived to build an Apple that is inclusive of everyone.

But we must do more. We commit to continuing our work to bring critical resources and technology to underserved school systems. We commit to continuing to fight the forces of environmental injustice — like climate change — which disproportionately harm Black communities and other communities of color. We commit to looking inward and pushing progress forward on inclusion and diversity, so that every great idea can be heard. And we’re donating to organizations including the Equal Justice Initiative, which challenge racial injustice and mass incarceration.

To create change, we have to reexamine our own views and actions in light of a pain that is deeply felt but too often ignored. Issues of human dignity will not abide standing on the sidelines. To the Black community — we see you. You matter and your lives matter.

This is a moment when many people may want nothing more than a return to normalcy, or to a status quo that is only comfortable if we avert our gaze from injustice. As difficult as it may be to admit, that desire is itself a sign of privilege. George Floyd’s death is shocking and tragic proof that we must aim far higher than a “normal” future, and build one that lives up to the highest ideals of equality and justice.

In the words of Martin Luther King, “Every society has its protectors of status quo and its fraternities of the indifferent who are notorious for sleeping through revolutions. Today, our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change.”

With every breath we take, we must commit to being that change, and to creating a better, more just world for everyone.

Tim Cook

MacDailyNews Take: Three more quotes from Martin Luther King Jr.:

Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.

The limitation of riots, moral questions aside, is that they cannot win and their participants know it. Hence, rioting is not revolutionary but reactionary because it invites defeat. It involves an emotional catharsis, but it must be followed by a sense of futility.

That old law about ‘an eye for an eye’ leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do the right thing.

—-

Thoughtful commentary on this issue is welcomed below. Please keep the discussion civil and on-topic. Off-topic posts and ad hominem attacks will be deleted and those who post such comments will be moderated/blocked. Permanent loss of screen name could also result.

48 Comments

  1. TC: “We see it in our criminal justice system, in the disproportionate toll of disease on Black and Brown communities”

    Tim, since when did disease turn racist and target “Black and Brown communities” disproportionately when disease threatens every community, everywhere in the world. Attention needs to be
    paid to find a solution.

    TC: “but it is similarly true that communities of color continue to endure discrimination and trauma.”

    It is very sad these communities are not vibrant today after 50 years of The Great Society spending trillions of dollars and little has changed. Mostly located in Blue cities/states their leaders have failed them repeatedly while enriching themselves. Certainly it is time to “Think Different” and give serious consideration to the other side. Under President Trump’s leadership, communities of color have achieved record employment numbers and many out of poverty have found dignity.

    TC: “I have heard from so many that you feel afraid — afraid in your communities, afraid in your daily lives, and, most cruelly of all, afraid in your own skin.”

    No one in the USA should feel afraid “in their own skin.” Unacceptable! This is the land of the free and home of the brave and everyone is EQUAL.

    TC: “But we must do more. We commit to continuing our work to bring critical resources and technology to underserved school systems.”

    Apple discontinued the eMac years ago designed specifically as a low cost high end computer for the education market. They need to do more than lip service and high prices. Certainly they have the profits, talent and vast resources to get it done.

    TC: “We commit to continuing to fight the forces of environmental injustice — like climate change — which disproportionately harm Black communities and other communities of color.”

    Climate change does not discriminate and sorry to say the most ridiculous and false statement in Tim’s letter pandering to the left. Sad.

    TC: “And we’re donating to organizations including the Equal Justice Initiative, which challenge racial injustice and mass incarceration.”

    Incarceration is based on crimes committed and found guilty in a court of law. Certainly it should be fair and balanced and not disproportionately applied to any race.

    TC: “To the Black community — we see you. You matter and your lives matter.”

    Certainly black lives and ALL lives matter.

    TC: “George Floyd’s death is shocking and tragic proof that we must aim far higher than a “normal” future, and build one that lives up to the highest ideals of equality and justice.”

    Agreed. God bless George Floyd and his family.

    TC: “In the words of Martin Luther King, “Every society has its protectors of status quo and its fraternities of the indifferent who are notorious for sleeping through revolutions. Today, our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change.”

    “And in 1958, he noted: “I don’t think the Republican party is a party full of the almighty God nor is the Democratic party. They both have weaknesses. And I’m not inextricably bound to either party.”

    — FactCheck.org

    MLK was true to his words.

    TC: “With every breath we take, we must commit to being that change, and to creating a better, more just world for everyone.”

    Drama aside, certainly all citizens do more to work towards POSITIVE CHANGE. We are all children of God and deserve equal respect and treatment. The solution has eluded us for centuries and it will take more than lofty words and trillions of dollars to get it done…

  2. Hey, MDN, if you’re going to quote MLK on riots, it is wrong to cherry-pick a single quote. He clearly did not believe in rioting himself, but he refused to blame the rioters.
    “And so in a real sense our nation’s summers of riots are caused by our nation’s winters of delay. And as long as America postpones justice, we stand in the position of having these recurrences of violence and riots over and over again. Social justice and progress are the absolute guarantors of riot prevention.”

    Get it? MLK was very clear that those to blame for riots were those who allowed the oppressive conditions that led to riots to persist. Avoiding riots is the job of society by providing justice – THAT is what will stop riots.

    Read more about MLK’s overall position on riots in this article, full of many quotes by MLK about riots, about justice, and about power.
    https://time.com/3838515/baltimore-riots-language-unheard-quote/

  3. This is Apple, Tim Cock represents. He should stay out of politics as Steve did. If he wants to support George Floyd, he should do so as Tim Cook, but should keep the accusations out of his commentary, as the head of Apple. THAT is his responsibility to the company. Be neutral for them.
    This issue is complicated, and many smarter than me are floundering. Stay out of it and make Apple products, that’s my advice.

    1. I’m not sure where the crazy idea comes from that Steve Jobs was not political. Yes, he said that he and the company should stay out of party politics, and they did and still do. It is no accident that Tim Cook has the closest relationship with President Trump of any major executive in America.

      However, Jobs began Apple with the mission statement to improve society through technology. He saw that as an inherently progressive agenda and that was reflected in corporate policy. Apple was among the first large companies to make workforce diversity in race, national origin, gender, and sexual orientation a central element of its corporate culture. It has always pushed public policies that would reflect its company policies. That is inherently political and it is an inseparable part of the Steve Jobs legacy.

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