Ever since the Black Lives Matter movement arose, many mainstream companies have done their best to avoid the movement and to make sure White and conservative consumers don’t link them to the civil rights group. Even celebrities focused on keeping fans and sponsorships have denounced the group or completely remained silent on Black Lives Matter. But this weekend one major corporation finally decided to speak in support of the group and, perhaps not so surprisingly, it was the famous ice cream brand Ben & Jerry’s.
On Thursday and Friday, the ice cream giant shared photos of the Black Lives Matter logo on their social media pages as well as a link to a lengthy statement from the company’s founders, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, in which they explained in detail why they were going against the grain of silence and publicly announcing their support of Black Lives Matter.
“Black lives matter. 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,” The founders said in the statement.
They added, “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.”
Later on in the statement, the liberal company owners explained why systematic racism is such a problem and why Americans need to have honest conversations about how Black people are treated in comparison to White people in our nation.
“There is good news: the first step in overcoming systemic racism and injustice is to simply understand and admit that there is a problem. It’s trying to understand the perspective of others whose experiences are different from our own. To not just listen, but to truly understand those whose struggle for justice is real, and not yet complete,” Ben & Jerry said.
The company even addressed the killings of Black men and women at the hands of police officers.
“Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, president of the North Carolina NAACP, said it best when reacting to the recent police shooting in Charlotte, NC. He said, ‘Our objective is simple: to ensure justice-loving people act toward justice, with all evidence, and that we stand together and act from a place of power and love, rather than out of fear and anger,’ ” read the statement.
They added, “It’s been hard to watch the list of unarmed Black Americans killed by law enforcement officers grow longer and longer. We understand that numerous Black Americans and White Americans have profoundly different experiences and outcomes with law enforcement and the criminal justice system. That’s why it’s become clear to us at Ben & Jerry’s that we have a moral obligation to take a stand now for justice and for Black lives.”
The founders clearly expected a backlash from Blue Lives Matter and All Lives Matter supporters and explained the painfully obvious fact that saying “Black lives matter” does not mean that they don’t think any other lives don’t matter.
“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 [are] 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,” Ben & Jerry said.
We give major kudos to Ben & Jerry’s for their support of Black Lives Matter but what do you think of their words on America’s race problem? Let us know in the comments. In the meantime, we know which company we’ll be buying our ice cream from.