Ben & Jerry’s declares support for Black Lives Matter, gets drubbing on social media

© Craig Lassig
Vermont-based ice cream purveyor Ben & Jerry’s released a statement declaring its support for the Black Lives Matter movement. It’s not the first time the progressive food company has come out in support of social issues, but the online response was swift.

In a statement posted online on Facebook and Twitter, Ben and Jerry’s explained, “Why Black lives matter.”

“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.
… All lives do matter. But all lives will not matter until Black lives matter.
- Your friends at Ben & Jerry’s”

The campaign quickly prompted heated debate on social media, with messages of support for the company and others threatening to boycott the ice cream manufacturer.

And threats of boycotts

It is not the first time the company has supported progressive causes. It released ice cream flavors to celebrate marriage equality, to raise awareness for climate change, and even supported its own state’s senator, Bernie Sanders, during his Democratic presidential campaign, with a limited edition flavor called Bernie’s Yearning. 

People quickly posted ideas for its new direction in support the Black Lives Matter movement under the hashtag #BenAndJerrysNewFlavor

From repurposed civil rights chants

To slogans of Black Lives Matter movement

Riffing on The Black Panther Party leader’s names.

And spinning on confectionery