Apple CEO Tim Cook sat down with Charlie Rose at PBS News last week for a two-part interview, the second half of which aired Monday night.
Rose pressed Cook on Apple, but also asked him about his personal values. Cook was unflinching about how others should be treated.
“Treating people with dignity,” said Cook. “That everyone deserves a basic level of human rights, regardless of their colour, regardless of their religion, regardless of their sexual orientation, regardless of their gender.”
When Rose mentioned standard bearers of human rights like Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy, Cook said he kept photos of both leaders in his office.
“I had the — just tremendous respect for both of them, and so I do,” he said. “I look at them every day because I think for people — there’s still too many cases in the world and in the United States where there’s a class kind of structure or where voting or people are trying to convince each other that this other group of people don’t deserve the same rights. And I think it’s crazy, I think it’s un-American.”
Cook then explained how the values championed by Kennedy and MLK play out at Apple.
“I see a tremendous company that because we don’t judge each other, because we don’t have different rights and so forth because we allow anyone in the front door,” he said. “I see a company that where — that this inclusion really inspires innovation.”
Apple’s CEO suggested that professing human rights was fundamentally American.
“There’s some basic level of rights that our forefathers had the insight to think about,” he said. “And we’re still fighting 250 years …afterwards to see that vision.”