Ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s tweeted a powerful statement on June 2 in response to the killing of George Floyd.
DID YALL SEE THAT BEN & JERRYS STATEMENT ?!? pic.twitter.com/aCXz1AItqy— elias (@dariusescott) June 2, 2020
The brand took a hardline stance regarding the tragic death of yet another Black American killed by police. Ben & Jerry’s wrote, “The murder of George Floyd was the result of inhumane police brutality that. Is perpetuated by a culture of white supremacy.”
The statement linked by the post resides on the company’s website and is entitled “Silence is NOT An Option.”
The statement begins, “All of us at Ben & Jerry’s are outraged about the murder of another Black person by Minneapolis police officers last week and the continued violent response by police against protestors.”
“We have to speak out. We have to stand together with the victims of murder, marginalization, and repression because of their skin color, and with those who seek justice through protests across our country. We have to say his name: George Floyd.”
The statement went on to cite the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin and Martin Luther King Jr., among others, as the result of systemic racism stemming from the birth of America.
Ben & Jerry’s, who publicly announced their support for the Black Lives Matter movement four years ago, ended the statement with four urgent demands.
First, for the government to commit the nation to a formal process of healing and reconciliation.
They call upon Congress to pass legislation to study the effects of slavery in an effort to rehabilitate violent and oppressive systems.
Ben and Jerry’s aligns with the Floyd family’s mission to create a national task force that would draft bipartisan legislation aimed at ending racial violence and increasing police accountability.
Finally, the brand calls upon the Department of Justice to use its Civil Rights Division to aggressively protect the rights of Black and Brown people.
The statement has elicited much response on social media. Some praise the company for releasing a corporate statement that offers more than just the lip service offered by other companies and institutions in the wake of nationwide outrage spurred by Floyd’s murder.
I don’t think I know of a single brand that sticks to their mission statement and core values like @benandjerrys. Without fail.— Naima Cochrane (@naima) June 2, 2020
Which just proves: Speaking out and taking a firm stand does not, in fact, hurt your bottom line. pic.twitter.com/jPT7M4sVje
Ben & Jerry’s has followed up their statement with a discussion of reparations, further unpacking the implications and their support of H.R. 40 legislation that aims to shine a light on the history of slavery in America in order to create a more peaceful and just future