SPLC President Richard Cohen.
(CNSNews.com) -- In a memo to employees of Apple, Inc., CEO Tim Cook announced that the tech giant would be donating $1 million each to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and Anti-Defamation League (ADL), matching donations by employees “two-for-one,” and allowing iTunes users to directly support “the work of the SPLC.”
“I believe Apple has led by example, and we’re going to keep doing that,” said Cook. “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.”
“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,” he said.
The memo also commented on President Donald Trump’s response to the violence that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia, condemning what Cook saw as a “moral equivalence” made in Trump’s statements on the event.
Apple CEO Tim Cook. (Screenshot.)
“We must not witness or permit such hate and bigotry in our country, and we must be unequivocal about it,” he said. “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 there is a moral equivalence between white supremacists and Nazis, and those who oppose them by standing up for human rights,” said Cook. “Equating the two runs counter to our ideals as Americans.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has been criticized by many for its “hate map,” which gives the same “hate group” classification to neo-Nazi gangs as to a religious liberty organization like the Family Research Council (FRC).
In 2013, left-wing domestic terrorist Floyd Corkins attempted to commit mass murder at the FRC’s headquarters and arrived in the building’s lobby with a bag full of ammunition and 15 Chick-fil-a sandwiches, which he intended to place on the people he killed.
A security guard was shot by Corkins, but managed to apprehend him before law enforcement arrived.
When the FBI asked Corkins how he had heard about the organization, he told them the SPLC had labeled the group an “anti-gay” organization on their website’s “hate map.”
The SPLC also keeps a list of “extremists,” which in 2014 included Dr. Ben Carson, the current Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The group has since removed his name and apologized.
Domestic terrorist Floyd Corkins under arrest outside the
Family Research Council, which he entered with a gun and shot
one man and had planned to shoot other employees there.
On Thursday, CNN featured the SPLC’s hate map on their website’s front page in an article entitled “Here are all the active hate groups where you live.” “Some critics of the SPLC say the group's activism biases how it categorizes certain groups, notes the article, “but since the FBI doesn't keep track of domestic hate groups, the SPLC's tally is the widely accepted one.”
On MSNBC on Aug. 16, SPLC President Richard Cohen rejected the confrontational tactics of left-wing Antifa, which exchanged blows with some of the white nationalists in Charlottsville.
“I think fighting fire with fire under the circumstances is going to lead to what we saw in Charlottesville,” Cohen said. “We don't need the Antifa to come and make a spectacle out of it, to embolden these people. They love it.”