Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream has openly given its support to the Black Lives Matter movement by posting the following tweet on their official Twitter page.
The tweet has, so far, been liked more than 30,000 times and was accompanied by the following statement, which called for those who read it to join the cause, get involved, and not just stand idly by as more violence erupts. It was s
igned with the words "Your friends at Ben & Jerry's."
Read the full statement here:
"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.
There is good news: the first step in overcoming systemic racism and injustice is to simply understand and admit that there is a problem. It’s trying to understand the perspective of others whose experiences are different from our own. To not just listen, but to truly understand those whose struggle for justice is real, and not yet complete.
Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, President of the North Carolina NAACP, said it best when reacting to the recent police shooting in Charlotte, NC. He said, “Our objective is simple: to ensure justice-loving people act toward justice, with all evidence, and that we stand together and act from a place of power and love, rather than out of fear and anger.”
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 want to be clear: 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.
We do not place the blame for this on individual officers. Rather, we believe it is due to the systemic racism built into the fabric of our institutions at every level, disadvantaging and discriminating against people of color in ways that go beyond individual intent to discriminate. For this reason, we are not pointing fingers at individuals; we are instead urging us to come together to better our society and institutions so that we may finally fulfill the founding promise of this country: to be a country with dignity and justice for all.
All lives do matter. But all lives will not matter until Black lives matter.
We ask people to be open to understanding these issues, and not to reflexively retreat to our current beliefs. 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. We’ll be working hard on that, and ask you to as well."
Reactions to their post were mixed, to say the least, as shown by the tweets below:
Now it's time to boycott Ben & Jerrys for supporting a terrorist organization!— Deplorable Gambler (@HoserMcToque) October 6, 2016
The Black Lives Matter movement has impacted the world, and the issues it's brought to light show no sign of abating anytime soon. Ben & Jerry's may yet find themselves just one of a number of established supporters or find themselves in the minority -- either way, they should be admired and respected for encouraging discussion on the matter.