Ben & Jerry's 'Just Put All Corporate Statements to Shame'

Company releases statement against white supremacy
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 3, 2020 8:43 AM CDT
Updated Jun 7, 2020 6:33 AM CDT
Ben & Jerry's 'Just Put All Corporate Statements to Shame'
"All of us at Ben & Jerry’s are outraged about the murder of another Black person by Minneapolis police officers last week and the continued violent response by police against protestors. We have to speak out."   (Getty Images)

Last week, Ben & Jerry's was busy launching a limited flavor called Boots on the Moooo'n. Fast forward a week, and its focus is entirely terrestrial. The company released what CNN terms a "forceful statement" on its website late Tuesday titled "We must dismantle white supremacy." The company begins by addressing the death of George Floyd, writing that his "murder was the result of inhumane police brutality that is perpetuated by a culture of white supremacy. What happened to George Floyd was not the result of a bad apple; it was the predictable consequence of a racist and prejudiced system and culture that has treated Black bodies as the enemy from the beginning." More:

  • And the company goes back to the beginning: "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. Some of those names we know—Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Oscar Grant, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Emmett Till, Martin Luther King, Jr.—most we don't."

  • The company outlines four steps it says must be taken to dismantle white supremacy: President Trump must publicly reject white supremacists and nationalist groups; Congress must pass HR 40 (which would lead to the establishment of a commission that would study the impact of slavery over the past 400 years and suggest remedies); a national task force focused on drafting legislation around racial discrimination and police accountability must be formed; and the DOJ should "reinvigorate its Civil Rights Division as a staunch defender of the rights of Black and Brown people."
  • The Hill reports the statement "stood out" from others posted by other businesses, and flags one such reaction in agreement, a tweet from journalist Jemele Hill: "just put all other corporate statements to shame. THIS is how you put out a statement."
  • Ben & Jerry's notes that it came out in 2016 in support of Black Lives Matter, and the Boston Globe reports co-founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield were arrested that same year during the "Democracy Awakening" protests in DC. CNN adds the company debuted a Justice ReMix'd flavor in September in support of criminal justice reform.
(Read more Ben & Jerry's stories.)

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