updated 05:01 pm EST, Sat December 14, 2013
Cook speaks on gay rights, racism, immigration at alma mater
On Tuesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook accepted a Lifetime Achievement Award from Auburn University, his alma mater, where he earned his bachelor's degree in industrial engineering. In his acceptance speech, the Apple CEO addressed a number of issues, but he dwelt for a time on equality. A video of the speech has been posted to the Internet, and in it Cook speaks out on gay rights, racism, and immigration. The United States should move toward equality, Cook says, because movement toward such issues is "right and just."
Cook gave a 13-minute speech, touching on his childhood in Alabama, the need for increased equality, and immigration. On Alabama, Cook said that he vividly remembered witnessing a cross burning while living in the southern state.
With regard to gay rights, Cook said that "now is the time to write these basic principles of human dignity into the book of law." Cook in the past has championed legislation to end gender- or sexual orientation-based discrimination.
On immigration reform, Cook said that the economic benefits of such action were plain. That, though, was not his primary motivation for supporting such efforts.
"Do not do them because they are economically sound - although they are," the Apple chief said, "do them because they are right and just."
Cook was not the only person honored at the ceremony, and he did not have top billing on the University's press release. That honor went to Auburn's "quality of life laureate": Howard Buffett, philanthropist and son of Warren Buffett.