As planned, Apple is now accepting donations to the Southern Poverty Law Center
, an Alabama-based non-profit organization, through iTunes.
iTunes users in the United States can donate $5, $10, $25, $50, $100, or $200 with a credit card tied to their account. Apple will transfer 100 percent of the proceeds to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which says it is dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry, protecting civil rights, and seeking justice.
Following a "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where white nationalists and supremacists clashed with counter-protestors over the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue, Apple said it will be making contributions of $1 million each to the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League.
Apple said it will also match two-for-one its employees' donations to those and several other human rights groups, between now and September 30.
Apple has also disabled Apple Pay support
on websites selling white nationalist and hate group apparel and accessories. Apple's guidelines prevent Apple Pay from being used on sites promoting hate, intolerance, and violence based on race, age, gender, gender identity, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation.
Apple CEO Tim Cook's full letter to employees was obtained by MacRumors:
Like so many of you, equality is at the core of my beliefs and values. The events of the past several days have been deeply troubling for me, and I’ve heard from many people at Apple who are saddened, outraged or confused.
What occurred in Charlottesville has no place in our country. Hate is a cancer, and left unchecked it destroys everything in its path. Its scars last generations. History has taught us this time and time again, both in the United States and countries around the world.
We must not witness or permit such hate and bigotry in our country, and we must be unequivocal about it. 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 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.
Regardless of your political views, we must all stand together on this one point — that we are all equal. As a company, through our actions, our products and our voice, we will always work to ensure that everyone is treated equally and with respect.
I believe Apple has led by example, and we’re going to keep doing that. 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. We empower people to share their views and express themselves through our products.
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. Apple will be making contributions of $1 million each to the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League. We will also match two-for-one our employees’ donations to these and several other human rights groups, between now and September 30.
In the coming days, iTunes will offer users an easy way to join us in directly supporting the work of the SPLC.
Dr. Martin Luther King said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.” So, we will continue to speak up. These have been dark days, but I remain as optimistic as ever that the future is bright. Apple can and will play an important role in bringing about positive change.
Southern Poverty Law Center operates offices in four U.S. states, including Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
Apple says iTunes Store credit cannot be used to make a donation. The fine print also says donations may not qualify for a tax deduction.
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