Less than a week after releasing a statement in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, Ben & Jerry’s faced swift backlash from social media users. Now, one organization is calling for a boycott of the ice cream company: Blue Lives Matter.
In a statement released Monday, Blue Lives Matter implores its supporters to send a message to Ben & Jerry’s, and its parent company Unilever, by boycotting the company entirely. The statement suggests that Ben & Jerry’s is “spreading false and misleading statements” and upholding a message “that has inspired the assassination and attempted assassination of police officers, and it costs officers their lives.”
The organization published news of its boycott to Facebook, where the post has been shared more than 29,000 times:
Whether you care about their stance on reparations or parenting, this is about more than just the lives of police officers. Please get the word out that Ben & Jerry's position doesn't reflect American values.Posted by Blue Lives Matter on Monday, October 10, 2016
Blue Lives Matter has called for boycotts of businesses before, and many commenters claim they will boycott them all. Though, by the looks of it, the group’s supporters might be running out of businesses at which to shop and eat:
When asked about the Blue Lives Matter boycott, a spokesperson for Ben & Jerry’s said the company is comfortable with the statement it issued in support of Black Lives Matter: “By standing up and saying that Black Lives Matter is not to say that those in the law enforcement community don’t matter.”
The spokesperson added that Ben & Jerry’s original statement in support of Black Lives Matter makes clear that the company “respects and values the commitment that those in law enforcement make.”
Ben & Jerry’s has a long history of championing progressive causes. In the past, the ice cream company has released flavors celebrating marriage equality, Bernie Sanders, and raising awareness about climate change.
A few thousand negative social media comments aren’t likely to do much harm to the brand or its founders, who are usually all too happy to engage in political debate, no matter the cost. Earlier this year, both Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield were arrested in D.C. during a march organized by liberal-leaning organization Democracy Awakening.
“We are proud of our statement,” said a company spokesperson. “This is not about suggesting that this is just a police problem. This is something we all need to be a part of acknowledging.”
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