Tim Cook Addresses George Floyd's Death and Ensuing Protests and Riots as Apple Temporarily Closes Some U.S. Stores

Amid unrest in numerous U.S. cities following last week's killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis, Apple CEO Tim Cook has shared an internal memo with employees (via Bloomberg) addressing the pain that many are feeling and urging others to commit "to creating a better, more just world for everyone."

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Cook also announced that Apple is making donations to several groups challenging racial injustice and protecting human rights, and is also matching two-for-one all employee donations made via Benevity during the month of June.

Cook's full memo to employees:

Team,

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 of you 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 and always will be to create technology that empowers people to change the world for the better. We’ve always drawn strength from our 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 together, we must do more. Today, Apple is making donations to a number of groups, including the Equal Justice Initiative, a non-profit committed to challenging racial injustice, ending mass incarceration, and protecting 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 matching 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 deeply 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 matter, your lives matter, and you are valued here at Apple.

For all of our colleagues hurting right now, please know that you are not alone, 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 common humanity. We also have free resources that can help, including our Employee Assistance Program and mental health resources you can learn about on the People site.

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


With the unrest escalating to vandalism and looting in some areas, Apple has seen a number of stores affected, and the company has temporarily closed some of its U.S. stores just days after reopening them as health-related restrictions have eased in many areas.

Apple issued a brief statement to 9to5Mac acknowledging that it was keeping a number of its stores closed today, but ongoing protests and disturbances may force Apple to keep some locations, particularly those that have been significantly damaged, closed for longer.

Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

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Top Rated Comments

JayMysterio Avatar
52 months ago

Finally with video people are starting to wake up to how cops really are
SOME. How SOME cops really are.
Score: 71 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Flow39 Avatar
52 months ago
I can’t help but to feel that all of the damage done to public property and businesses is going to further increase the division between people in the country. People who may have felt that the George Floyd situation was wrong (which it is incredibly wrong) but weren’t out rioting and had their property destroyed probably have hard feelings towards the protesters that destroyed it.
I know I’m getting tired of being told on social media that because I’m not out rioting I’m a terrible human being, and I can’t help but feel that I’m not the only one feeling like this. The incident is extremely sad and wrong and the officers involved should be prosecuted to the fullest, but I still need to work and pay the bills. Destroying public property and causing mayhem isn’t going to help anyone or unite them to what I’m protesting about.
Score: 51 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Flow39 Avatar
52 months ago

No most. You don’t become a cop to be nice guy. You become a cop because you like to pull the trigger.
And you know this because...you’re going into police work?

Without the police enforcing the law, the country would be a lawless mess. Not all officers are good people, but by and large they are good people who try their best to make the country a safe place for all. Generalizing and using absolutes isn’t a good idea, it weakens your argument.
Score: 50 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Agent OrangeZ Avatar
52 months ago
I am disturbed by those (including the media) that use the word "protesters" in the cases they should be using the word "rioters" or "looters".
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)
canesalato Avatar
52 months ago
Good move. I wish he supported in a similar way the people protesting in HK. Nevertheless, good move here.
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mtneer Avatar
52 months ago
Good message. I just hope his pain and anguish applies to the human rights situation of the Uyghurs and HK too.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)