Ben & Jerry’s sparked controversy after releasing a statement in support of the Black Lives Matter movement on Oct. 6.
The legendary ice cream duo released a statement aligning themselves with the movement, continuing their longstanding commitment to social justice.
“We have been working for much of the year on matters of social equity,” social mission activism manager Chris Miller told NBC News. “The campaign has focused on two issues -- the unlimited amount of big money in the political system and the potential disenfranchisement of black voters through strict voter ID laws."
The full statement from Ben & Jerry’s explains its decision to support the movement, according to its website:
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.
We ask you to join us in not being complicit.
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.
Miller said he felt it was time for the corporate community to speak out in support of BLM following the trend of corporations supporting certain causes, like the repeal of North Carolina’s House Bill 2.
“We figured now is the time to put a marker out -- the corporate community has been largely silent about systemic racism and injustice,” he said, NBC News reports. “I would like to encourage more corporations to join with us in this. We cannot develop strategies to overcome until we acknowledge these issues exist."
The news prompted mixed responses online, with some calling for a boycott of the company’s ice cream.
“Now it’s time to boycott Ben & Jerrys for supporting a terrorist organization!” one person responded on Twitter, according to Fox News.