Some people don’t want their ice cream mixed with politics. Me? I am not one of those people. Last week, Ben & Jerry’s took a stand and announced their support of the Black Lives Matter movement. And they really went deep with it, posting a full statement on their site along with articles like “7 Ways We Know Systemic Racism is Real.”
An excerpt from “Why Black Lives Matter” on the Ben & Jerry’s site reads:
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.
Sadly, now a lot of people are calling for a boycott of Ben & Jerry’s. They think that brands should remain politically neutral, and that they shouldn’t be forced to hear about a company’s political beliefs (especially if they don’t align with their own).
But as Ben & Jerry’s points out in the statement on their website, silence is a political stance. If a company remains silent on a social justice issue because they don’t want to upset their customers, then they are part of the problem — they are putting sales before civil rights.
Personally, I wish all companies were upfront about their political affiliations. That way, there would be less of a chance that I unwittingly support businesses that hold racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, Islamophobic or otherwise oppressive beliefs.
Instead of being worried about the backlash and choosing brand neutrality for the sake of protecting their sales, Ben & Jerry’s is using their influence as a top brand to stand on the right side of history. So no, I will not be boycotting them, and yes, that does mean that I’m going to double down on my obsession with Ben & Jerry’s vegan ice cream.
Or maybe, I could try a new flavor. As usual, the internet has not disappointed, and Twitter users have been more than eager to share their ideas for new ice cream flavors that gel with Ben & Jerry’s politics.
See? Who ever said that mixing politics and ice cream couldn’t be fun?