Apple’s War Against the Poor, continued

When I wrote about Apple’s hypocrisy in quoting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. last week, there was more to say. Few people are as accurate in preserving Dr. King’s legacy than Cornel West. Here is West talking about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. back in 2015 for Salon:

The radical King was a democratic socialist who sided with poor and working people in the class struggle taking place in capitalist societies. This class struggle may be visible or invisible, manifest or latent. But it rages on in a fight over resources, power, and space. In the past thirty years we have witnessed a top-down, one-sided class war against poor and working people in the name of a morally bankrupt policy of deregulating markets, lowering taxes, and cutting spending for those who are already socially neglected and economically abandoned.

Apple has rarely sided with the poor and in my opinion Apple’s “support” of Dr. King is part of the whitewashing of Dr. King’s struggles to free us all from white supremacy and capitalism, and rebrand them as part of a modern liberalism that is perfectly OK with labor exploitation. To ignore and label Apple’s fundamental materialism as part of Dr. King’s legacy is frankly disgusting, and part of why I’ve been less excited to write about the new products Apple has made lately.

There is a deeper conversation to be had here about capitalism, Apple, and the products it makes. That the products are good or bad or just there isn’t as interesting to me today as the question of what these large technology companies do and the lack of criticism about their actions in abusing the legacy of Dr. King.


Apple’s Support for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Ignores Dr. King’s Support for Workers

Yesterday, on the holiday celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the U.S, the homepage was updated to proclaim the company’s support for Dr. on the date of January 16th, 2023 with a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

I cannot imagine a more hypocritical stance for Apple to take when they are so against Dr. King’s messages. Time and again, Dr. King supported labor rights.

Dr. King supported striking sanitation workers in Memphis Tennessee the day before he was assassinated. That was the same day the famous “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech was given:

The issue is injustice. The issue is the refusal of Memphis to be fair and honest in its dealings with its public servants, who happen to be sanitation workers. Now, we’ve got to keep attention on that. That’s always the problem with a little violence. You know what happened the other day, and the press dealt only with the window-breaking. I read the articles. They very seldom got around to mentioning the fact that one thousand, three hundred sanitation workers were on strike, and that Memphis is not being fair to them, and that Mayor Loeb is in dire need of a doctor. They didn’t get around to that.

Apple has repeatedly worked against workers attempting to unionize. Apple gave out bogus anti-union talking points to store managers. Apple even went so far as to create a phony union to hijack the process and lead workers out of organizing for their rights.

Apple CEO Tim Cook even includes a a quote by Dr. King in his Twitter profile and quoted him yesterday.

It is absolutely absurd that Apple and Cook claim to support Dr. King this year after so much injustice is the direct result of the decisions the executive team at Apple has created.

No vigorous and positive worker action at Apple has gone unpunished.