When Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield started making ice cream in the late 1970’s, the company they founded was built upon the progressive principles its owners hold dear. Since becoming a socially-conscious behemoth, the creamery has made its politics clear, backing everything from action on climate change to Bernie Sanders’ candidacy to marriage equality. Now, the Vermont-based co-founders have drawn another line in the proverbial sand, adding a post to their website in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
The statement written on behalf of the company reads in part, “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 was sure to clarify that its support of black victims of law enforcement was not an indictment of police officers, continuing, “we believe that saying Black lives matter is not to say that the lives of those who serve in the law enforcement community don’t. We respect and value the commitment to our communities that those in law enforcement make, and we respect the value of every one of their lives. But we do believe that — whether Black, brown, white, or blue — our nation and our very way of life is dependent on the principle of all people being served equal justice under the law. And it’s clear, the effects of the criminal justice system are not color blind.”
Near the end of the statement, the entire sentiment is wrapped up succinctly: “All lives do matter. But all lives will not matter until Black lives matter.”
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Of course the stance has caused some controversy and even calls for a boycott, but support for the move has been equally as vocal. To that end, some people showed their appreciation of the statement by starting the hashtag #BenAndJerrysNewFlavor with a racial justice theme. Below are a few selected tweets that sound as profound as they do delicious.