Ben & Jerry’s has diversified from the ice cream business, appointing itself an expert on national security and racism. Its explanation of the Capitol Hill riot as “white supremacy” left a sour taste in some customers’ mouths.
Ben & Jerry’s is no stranger to corporate activism, and has released several #Resistance-pleasing flavors during President Donald Trump’s term in office: a vegan dessert honoring kneeling NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, a ‘Pecan Resist’ flavor to fundraise for anti-Trump organizations, and ‘Save our Swirled Now’, another vegan flavor to raise awareness of climate change.
The Vermont company also regularly issues proclamations on current events, from a lengthy post this summer declaring its support for the Black Lives Matter movement to a pro-immigration lecture aimed at the UK government this fall. However, the company has taken an even more solemn tone after pro-Trump protesters vandalized the US Capitol on Wednesday.
“Yesterday was not a protest – it was a riot to uphold white supremacy,” Ben & Jerry’s tweeted on Thursday, kicking off a lengthy thread explaining how “the mostly white insurrectionists roamed freely and without consequence through the heart of our democracy.”
Yesterday was not a protest—it was a riot to uphold white supremacy. (1/8)
— Ben & Jerry’s (@benandjerrys) January 7, 2021
Calling the pro-Trump crowd the “ultimate embodiment of white privilege,” the dessert peddlers claimed that they would have been treated differently were they “Black, Brown or Indigenous people” – capitalizing every race except “white” in an apparent bid for more woke points. In response to the “white tyranny” on display, the company called for the impeachment or deposition of President Trump, concluding “not one more day.”
Of course, the company neglected to mention that an entire summer of BLM riots were mostly “allowed to happen” too, or that co-founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield had been arrested at the Capitol in 2016 at a protest against money in politics. Unlike the pro-Trump rioters, however, Cohen and Greenfield stayed out of the building and kept the peace.
Yet for conservatives and Trump supporters, the lecture was one more reason to put down the spoon. “You shouldn’t be eating ice cream anyway,” right-wing pundit David Reaboi tweeted. “Hit the gym, eat clean and stop making these damn Bolsheviks rich.”
Officially never buying Ben and Jerry’s again. I buy it because it tastes nice – I don’t want to associate politics with ice-cream so back to Haagen-Dazs who are apolitical as far as I know. I actually think Ben & Jerry’s are trying to troll people like me at this point
— Ali #KBF (@Diggler97) January 8, 2021
The Capitol Hill riot left five people dead: an unarmed protester was shot by police, a police officer was fatally injured by a rioter, and three others suffered “medical emergencies” and passed away. It has been condemned by Democrats and most Republicans, and by a multitude of America’s corporations, including the PR departments of Boeing, Goldman Sachs, and even Axe body spray.
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