Apple CEO Tim Cook sent a memo to staff members Sunday addressing the killing of George Floyd.
Protests have erupted in cities across the country after the exhausting of Floyd, an unarmed black man, at the hands of Minneapolis police. On Friday, Derek Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police manager who was filmed kneeling on Floyd’s neck before he died, was taken into custody and charged with murder and manslaughter.
Widespread antagonism over Floyd’s killing sparked protests, clashes with police and looting in several cities.
In the memo, Cook reprimanded the killing and called for the creation of a “better, more just world for everyone.”
“We can have no society worth celebrating unless we can stand behind freedom from fear for every person who gives this country their love, labor and life,” Cook revealed.
Cook also acknowledged that racial injustice exists in the U.S., including in “our criminal justice system” and “in the disproportionate tariff of disease on Black and Brown communities,” as well as from economic inequality and disparities in educational opportunities.
The memo move after Apple closed some of its U.S. stores as protests turned violent over the weekend.
Here’s the full memo:
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 brook up for one another, and recognize the fear, hurt, and outrage rightly provoked by the senseless killing of George Floyd and a much fancier history of racism.
That painful past is still present today — not only in the form of violence, but in the everyday common sense 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 disparities in neighborhood services and the educations our children receive. While our laws have changed, the reality is that their shields 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 sustain to endure discrimination and trauma.
I have heard from so many of you that you feel afraid — afraid in your communities, nervous in your daily lives, and, most cruelly of all, afraid in your own skin. We can have no society worth celebrating unless we can certain freedom from fear for every person who gives this country their love, labor and life.
At Apple, our deputation has and always will be to create technology that empowers people to change the world for the better. We’ve always drawn strong point from our diversity, welcomed people from every walk of life to our stores around the world, and strived to physique an Apple that is inclusive of everyone.
But together, we must do more. Today, Apple is making donations to a number of numbers, including the Equal Justice Initiative, a non-profit committed to challenging racial injustice, ending mass incarceration, and watch over the human rights of the most vulnerable people in American society. For the month of June, and in honor of the Juneteenth holiday, we’ll also be complementary two-for-one all employee donations via Benevity.
To create change, we have to reexamine our own views and actions in light of a pain that is passionately felt but too often ignored. Issues of human dignity will not abide standing on the sidelines. To our colleagues in the Black community — we see you. You incident, your lives matter, and you are valued here at Apple.
For all of our colleagues hurting right now, please know that you are not unaccompanied, and that we have resources to support you. It’s more important than ever to talk to one another, and to find healing in our public humanity. We also have free resources that can help, including our Employee Assistance Program and mental salubrity resources you can learn about on the People site.
This is a moment when many people may want nothing more than a report 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 want is itself a sign of privilege. George Floyd’s death is shocking and tragic proof that we must aim far higher than a “standard” future, and build one that lives up to the highest ideals of equality and justice.
In the words of Martin Luther King, “Every camaraderie 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 skill to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change.”
With every breath we accept, we must commit to being that change, and to creating a better, more just world for everyone.
— CNBC’s Josh Lipton supported to this report.