Cook joins a long list of prominent business leaders critical of Trump’s response to the throng of white nationalists, neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan and white supremacy groups that stormed into Charlottesville to protest the planned removal of a Confederate statue. In the chaos, one woman was killed and several injured when a car, allegedly driven by a rally attendee, sped into a crowd of counterprotesters.
The president has said “many sides” were to blame for the violence. So many prominent business leaders took issue with Trump’s position that he was forced to shut down his major business advisory councils after several members resigned.
“We must not witness or permit such hate and bigotry in our country, and we must be unequivocal about it,” Cook said in the email. “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.”
He said this position was not a matter of politics but of “human decency and morality.”
In light of Charlottesville, Cook said Apple will donate $1 million each to the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center — organizations that track hate groups. The company will also match “two-for-one” employee donations to these and other human rights groups through the end of September, the email said.