‘They matter because they are children, brothers, sisters, mothers, and fathers.’
Vermont ice cream giant Ben and Jerry’s has a long history of embracing progressive causes. It’s backed the World Wide Fund for Nature, donated profits toward peace-promoting activities, opposed drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, stood with Occupy Wall Street, and even named a flavor after Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia. So no one should be shocked that Ben & Jerry’s announced its public support for the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.
Here’s a statement from Ben & Jerry’s website:
Why 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.
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.
Ben & Jerry’s decision to stand up against systemic racism shouldn’t be a controversial move, but given the vast right-wing opposition to BLM, the company may lose customers for taking sides. A recent poll found that only 20 percent of Republicans support BLM versus 64 percent of Democrats. Knowing that it may have kicked the hornet’s nest by taking sides on a sensitive issue, the company urges people to keep open minds and hearts about the movement. “Change happens when people are willing to listen and hear the struggles of their neighbor, putting aside preconceived notions and truly seeking to understand and grow,” the company said in a statement. “We’ll be working hard on that, and ask you to as well.”
Anyone who has a problem with Ben & Jerry’s support for BLM needs to watch this guy: