In a forceful statement posted on the company’s website on Tuesday night, Ben & Jerry’s describes the George Floyd’s death, an unarmed black man, at the hands of a white police officer as a result of “inhuman police brutality that is perpetuated by a culture of white supremacy.”
“What happened to George Floyd was not the result of a bad apple; it was the predictable consequence of a racist and prejudiced system and culture that has treated black bodies as enemies from the beginning,” said the brand, owned by Unilever(UL).
Companies included Nike(NKE), Netflix(NFLX), Twitter(TWTR), Disney(DIS), Facebook(full board) and Intel(INTC) They have condemned racism and injustice in recent days. But Ben & Jerry’s statement is unusually exhaustive and direct, addressing the historical roots of discrimination in the United States and denouncing systemic racism, while advocating specific policies to prevent further police abuse and correct racial inequality.
“Slavery, Jim Crow, and segregation were systems of legalized and monetized white supremacy for which generations of blacks and browns paid an incalculable price. That cost must be recognized and the privilege that accrued to some at the expense of others must be considered. and repaired, “the company said in its statement.
Ben & Jerry’s, which also publicly supported Black Lives Matter Movement called on President Donald Trump to reject white supremacists and nationalist groups who “openly support him.”
The ice cream maker also asked the US Department of Justice. USA That it revitalize its Civil Rights Division and that Congress approve H.R.40, a bill that would create a commission to study the effects of discrimination since African slaves first came to North America in 1619 and recommend remedies.
Ben & Jerry’s has a long history of political activism under founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, who were arrested in 2016 for protesting against money in politics.
Of the company reduction to the British-Dutch consumer goods giant Unilever(UL) in 2000 it did not prevent him from speaking on issues such as racial injustice, climate change and the rights of refugees. As part of the agreement, Ben & Jerry’s maintained an independent board of directors. “We are a wholly owned subsidiary [of Unilever]but we still act in accordance with Ben & Jerry’s mission, vision and values, “a spokesperson told CNN Business.
The brand has even used its ice cream to push for change, launching the Justice ReMix’d flavor in September to promote criminal justice reform and Pecan resistance in 2018 to protest the policies of the Trump administration that he described as “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 acknowledge its privilege, take responsibility for its past and the impact it has on the present, and commit to creating a future filled with justice, the list of names George Floyd has been added never ending. We have to use this moment to accelerate our nation’s long journey to justice and a more perfect union, “the statement concluded.
Unilever CEO Alan Jope also commented on the matter. “Systemic racism and social injustice must be eradicated. Businesses have a critical role to play in creating an equitable society that is intolerant of intolerance,” he said Monday Monday. Twitter.
Cary Douglas is a reporter who covers everything from oil trading to China's biggest conglomerates and technology companies. Originally from Chicago, he is a graduate of New York University's business and economic reporting program.