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Ben & Jerry’s Speaks Up For Black Lives, Inspires Genius New Ice Cream Flavors

Ben & Jerry’s is famous for coming up with cleverly named — and delicious — ice cream flavors.

But on Thursday it made headlines for coming out in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

All lives do matter. But all lives will not matter until Black lives matter.

The company released a statement urging people to acknowledge systemic and institutionalized racism, requesting that customers join it in “not being complicit.”

The statement said,

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.

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…

Much of this was inspired by the police killings of black people, including the more recent fatal police shooting of Keith Scott in Charlotte, North Carolina.

According to The Counted, a database run by The Guardian that tracks police killings in the US, 824 people have been killed by US police so far in 2016. Of all those killed, 201 were black.

Black people make up roughly 13 percent of the US population, while white people make up around 62 percent, but black people have been killed by police at more than twice the rate of white people this year.

Accordingly, Ben & Jerry’s felt it had a “moral obligation” to take a stand and speak up:

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.

With this statement, Ben & Jerry’s is simply calling on people to acknowledge what’s going on in this country, highlighting the first step to solving a problem is admitting there is one.

People have responded to this statement from Ben & Jerry’s with the hashtag #BenAndJerrysNewFlavor, which many are using to make points about racial inequality.

Screenshot of a tweet about Ben & Jerry's and Black Lives Matter.

Twitter

Screenshot of a tweet about Black Lives Matter and Ben & Jerry's.

Twitter

Screenshot of a tweet about Ben & Jerry's and Black Lives Matter.

Twitter

Screenshot of a tweet about Ben & Jerry's and Black Lives Matter.

Twitter

Screenshot of tweet about Ben & Jerry's.

Twitter

Ben & Jerry’s has never been afraid to get political.

A lot of people clearly appreciate Ben & Jerry’s effort to spread awareness about systemic racism. But this is hardly the first time the company has been outspoken about politically charged issues.

Ben Cohen and Jerry Springfield, the co-founders of the company, were arrested in Washington DC while protesting against money in politics back in April.

In addition to being the “Ben” behind Ben & Jerry’s, Cohen established Stamp Stampede in 2012, a non-profit that focuses heavily on campaign finance reform and voting rights.

Last week, Elite Daily sat down with Cohen and Nina Turner, a former Ohio state senator and surrogate for Bernie Sanders, to discuss these issues.

Check out the video of the conversation below.

The co-founders of Ben & Jerry’s are “extremely proud” of their company’s support for Black Lives Matter.

On Friday, Cohen told Elite Daily,

Both Jerry and I are extremely proud of the statement the company came out with in support of the Movement for Black Lives.

It’s important to understand that this statement  wasn’t instigated by Jerry and myself; it came from the people at Ben & Jerry’s.

It is evidence that the values with which we started Ben & Jerry’s have now become instilled in the company under the ownership of Unilever.

Let us now get down to the hard and joyful work of winning this fight for justice.

When asked what he thinks about the hashtag inspired by this move, #BenAndJerrysNewFlavor, Cohen simply responded, “BEST FLAVOR YET.”

Indeed, when it comes to fighting for a more free and fair country, the men behind Ben & Jerry’s are always on board.


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John Haltiwanger

Editor

John Haltiwanger is the Senior Politics Writer at Elite Daily. He was born and raised in DC. John earned an MSc in International Relations from the Univ. Of Glasgow and a BA in History from St. Mary's College of MD. He loves life, and burritos.
John Haltiwanger is the Senior Politics Writer at Elite Daily. He was born and raised in DC. John earned an MSc in International Relations from the Univ. Of Glasgow and a BA in History from St. Mary's College of MD. He loves life, and burritos.

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