Use your Apple gizmos only for good, says Tim Cook

Oh yeah, and George Wallace, Alabama's ex-governor, was a wrong'un

Tim Cook
Cook: Apple head honcho says iPhones help the social justice fight

Apple CEO Tim Cook has confirmed that Steve Jobs' vision of the fruity firm's products conquering the world has been a success, while highlighting how smartphones help tackle injustices.

Opening with a joke aimed at competitors' products, Cook reminded attendees at the speech at George Washington University, Washington DC, to silence their phones.

"Those of you with an iPhone, just place it in silent mode. If you don't have an iPhone, please pass it to the centre aisle, Apple has a world-class recycling program."

Cook stated his admiration for former presidents Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter, and compared Carter's liberal, "kind" and "compassionate" policies with those of the notorious segregationist governor of Alabama, Cook's home state, George Wallace.

"It was clear to me that one was right and one was wrong," said Cook, adding that "Meeting my governor was not an honor for me", and that shaking his hand felt like a "betrayal".

"My heroes in life were Dr Martin Luther King and Robert F Kennedy, who have fought against the very things that Wallace stood for," Cook explained.

Speaking about Apple, Cook noted that Steve Jobs envisioned the company as one which "turned powerful technology into tools that were easy to use, tools that would help people realise their dreams and change the world for the better".

"Our products do [these] amazing things, and just as Steve envisioned, they empower people all over the world," said the CEO. "People who witness injustice and want to expose it [...] can, because they have a camera in their pocket all the time."

"Your challenge is to find work that pays the rent, puts food on the table, and lets you do what is right and good and just," Cook said, to the graduates' applause.

"Now, I suspect some of you aren't buying this," the CEO added.

"It's no surprise that people are skeptical, especially here in Washington, where these days you've got plenty of reason to be. And a healthy amount of skepticism is fine, though, too often in this town, it turns to cynicism: the idea that no matter who's talking or what they're saying, that their motives are questionable, their character is suspect, and that if you search hard enough you can prove they're lying."

"Maybe that's just the world we live in," said Cook. "But graduates: this is your world to change." ®

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