What Apple's CEO said today about black lives and white privilege

From Tim Cook's "Speaking up on racism," an open letter posted Thursday:

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...

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.

Full text here.

My take: As a pale-faced male, I've struggled with what I could possibly say of any value about the events of the past 10 days. What Cook came up with ain't bad for a white dude.

See also: Aspirational looting at the Apple Stores (videos)


  1. Fred Stein said:
    Thank you, Philip and Tim.

    June 4, 2020
  2. Kathy Corby said:
    As an investor/trader, I have watched appalled as the markets rocketed to new (today, all-time highs on the Nasdaq 100), while the people of our nation who have been excluded from its prosperity suffered loss of livelihood, hope, and in some cases, lives. I have found this prosperity on the part of the rich, who seem to inevitably get ever richer, obscene, despite profiting from it myself. Tim Cook’s statement reminds me that capitalism may yet redeem itself, if the ideals it expresses can translate themselves into reality. Let us hope so.

    June 4, 2020
  3. LALIT JAGTAP said:
    Hello PED, in 2012, I had attended your talk at “Apple Investor Summit @ LA”.

    As an indie investor, I have benefitted from your blog and valuable comments.
    Best of I have learned more from the diversity of opinions by subscribers of this blog.

    During our troubled times, it feels better to be part of the Apple Investor community.
    – Lalit

    June 4, 2020
  4. Peter Kropf said:
    He distinguishes the US economy as the only major democracy practicing ‘predatory’ capitalism.

    Other democracies have strong healthcare, social security, protection of workers’ rights, lifetime educational opportunities, new baby home-time, taxing the rich fairly, generous vacations, humane policing, and the thoughtful licensing of personal weapons.

    Maybe, someday, we’ll care for each other enough that a small portion of the great wealth and income of our country will be spent on using our assets and revenue to ensure opportunity and a safety net for all of us.

    June 4, 2020
    • Peter Kropf said:
      Sorry, Edit:
      ‘He’ = ‘One blogging economist”

      June 4, 2020
    • John Butt said:
      This is the question we keep asking in New Zealand. Why is America so behind in social support? That lack of social support has not helped true capitalism in comparison to NZ, but has hindered much more and for many more people. NZ does not have it all right, but a hell of a lot more than the US, with nearly all those issues you list being standard for everyone, with some limitations we need to improve to get right. (we need to tax the rich fairly as we once did until Thatcher-like reforms in the 80’s)
      NZ “normal”
      * Healthcare free for all, we squabble over waiting lists, special care, but it is free. We have a single desk purchasing drugs, pissing off US corporates, but making drugs affordable.
      * Social Security is available for all, on experience Lawyers can get it.
      * Workers rights – we have long had protection for workers, including minimum pay rates (~$20ph), leave (3 weeks, plus two public hol weeks), redundancy rights
      Lifetime education – this was removed under the last government, but returned recently – free.
      New Baby time – available by legislation
      Taxing the rich, a progressive tax system, people on the minimum wage usually pay no tax, but we have a top tax rate of 33%
      Vacations – usually 4 weeks
      Humane policing – our police do not carry arms – although they are also prone to racial profiling so we have a way to go
      Personal weapons – we used to be like the US, but the Christchurch massacre changed that, rules were changed a lot.

      June 4, 2020
  5. Rodney Avilla said:
    ‘I’d say our problems stem from the reality that our form of democracy isn’t sufficiently insulated from capitalism.”

    May I suggest the opposite (with a slight modification)? That our capitalism is not sufficiently insulated from our government. In other words, the cost of a good or service should be determined by the will of the people (those willing to supply a product, and those willing to buy it), as opposed to a committee of people of power telling us what we should want or allowed to buy and at what price (control demand) or what we should do or allowed to do (control supply). Obviously the process can be very complicated, and I’d be the first to agree that the process needs governmental oversight. But oversight is not controlling and determining the outcome, but making sure the process is just and fair. The outcome should be determined by the will of the people.

    June 4, 2020
  6. Jerry Doyle said:
    In the late ’80s I presented a compendium to a contact with the National Council on Disability working on draft versions of a bill to become the ADA under George H. Bush’s administration & Commissioner Justin Dart, Rehabilitation Services Administration. ADA is the equivalent of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. LBJ’s social service programmatic initiatives targeting relief against discrimination & affirmative action in labor laws inspired me to present my thesis that individuals from deprived economic, cultural, social, educational & environmental backgrounds are severely disabled & should be included in the ADA. It didn’t happen. The cumulative effects of those deprivations on individuals serve as major barriers in their ability to unyoke from the generational chains that bind them as society’s castaways. These major barriers are as significant as any severely disabled individual confronts in mainstreaming into society and the world of work affording them opportunities of becoming productive members in communities.

    If we amended the ADA & the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to include individuals from social, cultural, economic, educational & environmentally deprived backgrounds so that Federal/State Rehabilitation Services Programs could provide needed vocational counseling, guidance, training & job placement services then this would be a critical step in streamlining individuals chained by society’s benign neglect into the mainstream of our capitalistic fraternity.

    June 4, 2020

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