Ben & Jerry's faces backlash for political statement

By AMANDA KARP
On November 14, 2018

Photo courtesy of Amin, Wikipedia

A week before the midterms on Nov. 6, with political tensions rising as the country faced oppositions within itself, Ben & Jerry’s took it upon themselves to release a new flavor called “Pecan Resist.”

The significance of the flavor was highlighted in a press release, where the ice cream company vowed to take a stand against the Trump administration using peaceful protesting.

The limited batch flavor represents “celebrating the activists who are continuing to resist oppression, harmful environmental practices and injustice,” the press release stated.

Four groups are highlighted within the press release and commends them for their work. Those mentioned were Color of Change, Honor the Earth, Women’s March and Neta, all which tackle issues regarding the aforementioned statement.

Ben & Jerry’s then urged their fans to learn more about each group and engage with them.

The sentiment shared in the press release was not shared by everyone across social media. Many were critical of the message, especially on Twitter, where people could directly engage with the company.

One user, Jonah Wexler, tweeted, “[P]rovide better conditions for your workers and actually fight for equity and then we'll talk.”

Others argued that ice cream has no business inserting itself into political issues, and some of the trending hashtags surrounding the issue was #boycottbenandjerrys and #resist in support of their new flavor.

On the other side, many users praised the company.

“Awesome! A company with a conscience,” said Twitter user Jill Dennison.

Though many were split down the line with Ben & Jerry’s offering their political insights through their company, I believe that they have the freedom to do so.

People certainly don’t appreciate being bombarded with political ideology in every aspect of their life, and I can appreciate the sentiment of wanting to keep these areas separate.

At the end of the day, people will take in the messages they want to hear or reject them outright, so it’s no skin off of their back if they don’t like a political view that a company is promoting. There are other companies that offer the same products, and it doesn’t make any difference in the long run.

Ben & Jerry’s is doing the right thing in promoting a message they believe in. Not only are they doing that, but they are promoting their values in a peaceful way, encouraging others to do the same.

Not many companies are like that in the current political climate, instead ignore issues or controversies surrounding them, but Ben & Jerry’s confronts theirs head on.

They are getting their voice out there – and everyone wants to be heard with their messages.

It’s just a shame that people would boycott a company simply because they want to “champion those fighting to create a more just and equitable nation for us all.”


akarp@ramapo.edu

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