By Ryan Velez
The nation is not only reeling from the events in Charlottesville that left one person dead, but a reaction from the President that people are calling anemic at best, and endorsement of white nationalism at worse. In addition to widespread condemnations and counter-protests across the nation, many businesses have flexed their muscle against racism in the wake of this tragedy. A cynic may say that their actions are to avoid backlash as much as do the right thing, but considering the weight some of these major names hold, using it against racism can be seen as a positive. Black Enterprise profiled some of the businesses in question.
Perhaps one of the biggest names to take a stand was Apple, which stood against bigotry both through words and actions. CEO Tim Cook made his stance clear in a letter to Apple employees. An excerpt can be read here:
“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.”
In addition to these strong words, Apple also donated $1 million to the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League, as well as blocking three websites selling white nationalist paraphernalia through Apple Pay.
One company that is trying to right the wrongs that it has unintentionally created is PayPal. The Southern Poverty Law Center reports that white extremist groups used the platform to build their organizations which led to the Charlottesville rally. PayPal recently announced that it will no longer allow 30 hate groups to use the platform, citing that “regardless of the individual or organization in question, we work to ensure that our services are not used to accept payments or donations for activities that promote hate, violence or racial intolerance,” in a press release.
One interesting addition to this list is Airbnb, which has come under fire in the past for discrimination on the platform. Before violence even took place, Airbnb took a stand, preventing white nationalists from attending the Charlottesville rally. “The violence, racism and hatred demonstrated by neo-Nazis, the alt-right, and white supremacists should have no place in this world,” wrote CEO Adam Chesky in a statement, according to The Verge. “Airbnb will continue to stand for acceptance, and we will continue to do all we can to enforce our community commitment.”