Ben & Jerry’s shows other big businesses how to support a movement
2020 is not the first year the ice cream company has spoken up about criminal justice reform.
In response to the murder of George Floyd, ice cream brand, Ben & Jerry’s, released a statement on their blog and social media on Tuesday June 2, entitled “Silence is NOT an option.”
They want to make very clear that Floyd’s death was not a result of “bad apples,” but from a toxic culture of white supremacy.
“What happened to George Floyd in Minneapolis is the fruit borne of toxic seeds planted on the shores of our country in Jamestown in 1619, when the first enslaved men and women arrived on this continent. Floyd is the latest in a long list of names that stretches back to that time and that shore,” the statement read.
This is not the first time that Ben & Jerry’s has spoken up about racism.
In October of 2016, they posted a blog about why Black lives do matter and encouraged everyone to join them in not being complicit. The current blog reaffirmed their views and set up a four-part plan to dismantle white supremacy in all its forms.
They called upon the Trump administration to disavow white supremacist groups, and then Congress to pass legislation that would “create a commission to study the effects of slavery and discrimination from 1619 to the present and recommend appropriate remedies.”
Next, they want a task force created to draft bipartisan legislation aimed at ending racial violence and increasing police accountability, which is what George Floyd’s family has also been calling for.
Finally, they called upon the Department of Justice to reinvigorate its Civil Rights Division and reinstate policies rolled back by the Trump administration.
On Ben & Jerry’s website, they have more blog posts on racial justice, like school segregation, reparations, cannabis justice and mass incarceration.
In September 2019, they released a new flavor called “Justice Remix’d” dedicated to criminal justice reform.
The flavor was made in partnership with Advancement Project, a civil rights organization that works with local grassroots organizers on racial justice issues. Portions of the proceeds will go towards the Advancement Project.
After reading too many corporate messages from brands that seem to be speaking up just to maintain their customers, people on Twitter felt that Ben & Jerry’s statement was a breath of fresh air.
“I have loved @benandjerrys for so long, and it gives me great pleasure to be able to patronize a company that actually conducts themselves ethically and with the best interests of humankind at heart,” wrote one commenter.
Ben & Jerry’s is going above and beyond for the movement, and is leading by example for other businesses. Businesses need to do more than just say they support a movement; they need to use their influence and join the fight.