Ben & Jerry’s published a statement on Black lives matter entitled “Why Black Lives Matter” on the What’s New page of their website, and mixed reactions occurred. Some loved it, others hated it, and said they would no longer support the beloved ice cream brand.
After quoting Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, President of the North Carolina NAACP after the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott in North Carolina, the company wrote,
“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.”
We already know who is mad, but this is not Ben & Jerry’s first time voicing their opinion on serious issues, as they have in some form or fashion commented on presidential elections, marriage equality, and climate change.
Ben & Jerry’s went on to ask others to join them and “not be complicit”. Also noting that they are not putting the blame on any one individual and clarifying that they are not saying “blue lives” do not matter. The post includes a link back to another post on systematic racism, while pointing out Blacks face different outcomes when involved with the judicial system.
Even if Ben & Jerry’s does not truly get what it is like to being Black in America, we must admit they at least can hear it. This is not anything new, but daily we read in amazement as others seem to struggle to understand. For a company of its magnitude to speak on such matters, says a great deal.