In a strong statement
published on the company’s website last Tuesday, Ben & Jerry’s describes the death of George Floyd
, an unarmed black man, at the hands of a white police officer following the “inhuman brutality of the police perpetuated by a culture of white supremacy”.
“What happened to George Floyd wasn’t the result of a bad apple; it was the predictable consequence of a racist and biased system and culture that treated black bodies as enemies from the start,” said the brand, owned by Unilever (UL)
Companies included Nike (NKE)
, Netflix (NFLX)
, chirping (tWTR)
, Disney (DIS)
, Facebook (FB)
is Intel (INTC)
have condemned racism and injustice in recent days. But Ben & Jerry’s statement is unusually complete and straightforward, which addresses the historical roots of discrimination in the United States and appeals to systemic racism, supporting specific policies to prevent further police abuse and remedy racial inequality.
“Slavery, Jim Crow and segregation were legalized and monetized systems of white supremacy for which generations of blacks and browns paid an immeasurable price. This cost must be recognized and account must be taken of the privilege that some have accumulated at the expense of others and repaired, “said the company in its statement.
Ben & Jerry’s, who also publicly supported the Black Lives Matter
movement, called on President Donald Trump to deny white supremacists and nationalist groups who “openly support him”.
The ice cream maker also asked the United States Department of Justice to reinvigorate its civil rights division and the passage of Congress. H.R.40
, a bill that would create a commission to study the effects of discrimination since African slaves first arrived in North America in 1619 and recommended remedies.
Ben & Jerry’s has a long history of political activism under the founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, who were arrested in 2016
for protesting against money in politics.
The company sale
to the British-Dutch consumer goods giant Unilever (UL)
in 2000 it did not stop him from talking about issues such as racial injustice, climate change and refugee rights. As part of the deal, Ben & Jerry held an independent board of directors. “We are a wholly owned subsidiary [of Unilever], but we still act according to Ben & Jerry’s mission, vision and values, “a spokesman for CNN Business said.
The brand even used its ice cream to pressure change, launching the The taste of justice ReMix
in September to promote the reform of criminal justice e Pecan Resist
in 2018 to protest Trump’s administrative policies, he was called “regressive and discriminatory”.
The company was praised by social media activists for the strength of its statement about Floyd’s death.
“Unless and until White America is willing to collectively recognize its privilege, take responsibility for its past and its impact on the present and commit to creating a future steeped in justice, the list of names that George Floyd has been added to the never ending will. We must use this moment to accelerate our nation’s long journey to justice and a more perfect union, “concluded the statement.
Unilever CEO Alan Jope also commented on the problem. “Systemic racism and social injustice must be eradicated. Businesses have a vital role to play in creating a fair society that is intolerant of intolerance,” said Monday chirping
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