Over the past few days we’ve heard from a number of technology firms and social media platforms as to the role they play in society, and in particular for being arbiters of truth. CEOs like Mark Zuckerberg have made their position on the matter clear, and now Apple’s head, Tim Cook, has weighed in on the situation too.
Cook wrote a blog post talking about myriad issues, but in particular focused on the role that Apple needs to play moving forward.
“I have heard from so many 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,” he writes.
“At Apple, our mission has been and always will be to create technology that empowers people to change the world for the better. We’ve always drawn strength from 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,” the CEO continues.
As Engadget points out, this kind of rhetoric at a time like can easily be viewed as virtue calling, and likely will be seen as such by some.
It is why Cook must be held accountable for his words of Cook, and the actions he says Apple needs to make in future.
“But we must do more. We commit to continuing our work to bring critical resources and technology to underserved school systems. We commit to continuing to fight the forces of environmental injustice — like climate change — which disproportionately harm Black communities and other communities of color. We commit to looking inward and pushing progress forward on inclusion and diversity, so that every great idea can be heard. And we’re donating to organizations including the Equal Justice Initiative, which challenge racial injustice and mass incarceration,” he notes.
These are not issues that can be simply addressed via an update or patch, and call for radical ways in the way that Apple does business.
We hope that this simply isn’t posturing by Cook, and that he indeed plans to follow through on the commitments he has outlined above.
If the likes of Apple can make these kinds of changes, there is always the slightest chance that other companies in Silicon Valley can do the same.
“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 the Black community — we see you. You matter and your lives matter,” the CEO says.
“With every breath we take, we must commit to being that change, and to creating a better, more just world for everyone,” he concludes.
Now it’s time for the tech community and consumers to hold Cook to his word, and make Apple follow through.