Ben & Jerry’s believe Black Lives Matter.
Yes, you read that correctly. The ever popular Vermont-based creamery decided to declare their support for the movement that has ignited international conversation.
On Thursday, Ben & Jerry’s posted its support for the movement on its Facebook and Twitter.
The company decided to take things one step further and make a strong statement on their website regarding the prolonged racial injustices in America. The post delved into the intricacies of systematic and institutionalized racism and called for others to join their cause through advocacy and meaningful actions. The opening statement reads:
“They matter because they are children, brothers, sisters, mothers, and fathers.
They matter because the injustices they face steal from all of us — white people and people of color alike. They steal our very humanity.
Systemic and institutionalized racism are the defining civil rights and social justice issues of our time. We’ve come to understand that to be silent about the violence and threats to the lives and well-being of Black people is to be complicit in that violence and those threats.”
Although they have stepped into the lime-light for their socially conscious statement, Ben & Jerry’s is no stranger to social activism.
The creamery has previously released ice cream flavors in support of same-sex marriage equality, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, and climate change. Not only that, but Ben & Jerry’s also backed the North Carolina NAACP’s campaign to repeal the state’s voter ID law and created the flavor, “Empower Mint,” to donate proceeds to the cause.
Ben & Jerry’s statement touched on one desire (amongst the African American community) that often sparks the organization of marches and sit-ins across the nation: acknowledgment. Logging on to social media and facing countless videos and hashtags is not normal and can be extremely traumatizing for people of color. Ben & Jerry’s recognition of the unjust treatment African Americans have faced at the hands of corrupt law enforcement is nothing short of brave:
“It’s been hard to watch the list of unarmed Black Americans killed by law enforcement officers grow longer and longer…
We want to be clear: we believe that saying Black lives matter is not to say that the lives of those who serve in the law enforcement community don’t. We respect and value the commitment to our communities that those in law enforcement make, and we respect the value of every one of their lives.
But we do believe that — whether Black, brown, white, or blue — our nation and our very way of life is dependent on the principle of all people being served equal justice under the law. And it’s clear, the effects of the criminal justice system are not color blind…
All lives do matter. But all lives will not matter until Black lives matter.”
After Ben & Jerry’s statement hit social media all bets were off. Some chose to poignantly oppose their recent social advocacy and state that they will no longer buy or enjoy Ben & Jerry’s delicious treats. Their loss. On a positive note, thousands of Twitter users banded together to celebrate Ben & Jerry’s comment on the Black Lives Matter movement by offering up “woke” (socially aware) new flavor ideas using the hashtag “#BenandJerrysNewFlavor”. If you want a good laugh I encourage anyone and everyone to purposefully stumble upon the hashtag and, if you’re up to it, join in. Some of the many popular flavor proposals are “Black Lives Batter”, “Hands Up, Don’t Scoop”, “Say it loud, blackberry and proud”, Rocky Road to Justice, Go Shawty It’s Sherbet Day, and (one of my personal favorites) “POP, LOCK AND CHOCOLATE.”
After reading Ben & Jerry’s statement, scrolling through the hashtag and enjoying a good laugh, I decided to support their business in the most mutually desirable way I knew how: buying a tub of ice cream.
The walk to and from my local grocery store and the moment my spoon dug into my newly purchased ice-cream container was the cherry on top of my day (no pun intended).
I have to say, socially conscious ice cream tastes that much sweeter.