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Tim Cook speaks out about racism and injustice

Apple's CEO has issued a statement saying the company is committed to diversity, and to empowering people to "change the world for the better."

Following the protests over the murder of George Floyd, and people urging Apple to publicly comment, Tim Cook has issued a statement about the company's position.

"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," says Cook in the statement called "Speaking Up on 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 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 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.

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.

Cook continues by saying that Apple, and all of us, have to reconsider our views and actions. "To the Black community," he says, "We see you. You matter and your lives matter."

He concludes the 550-word statement by quoting Martin Luther King's urging people to "face the challenge of change." Cook says that "with every breath we take, we must commit to being that change, and to creating a better, more just world for everyone."

Later on Thursday, during a memorial service for Floyd in Minneapolis, Cook also shared another tweet to mourn Floyd's life and call for channeling "grief into action."

This public statement is almost identical to the one Cook issued privately to Apple employees on Sunday. That one contained more specific details about how the company will match its employees donations to, but otherwise is word for word the same.