Ben and Jerry’s is a name synonymous with unique flavors of ice cream, but it is also becoming more recognizable in the political arena. Fox News reports that on Thursday, Ben Cohen, founder of Ben and Jerry’s, was seen being questioned by police outside of the Department of Justice building in Washington, D.C.. Ben’s protest was not in response to his company’s recent political commentary, but for the release of Julian Assange.
The Vermont company was recently in the news after tweeting a controversial message on Independence Day. As Americans took to patriotic celebrations on July 4th, Ben and Jerry’s took the opportunity to attack America saying that the country “exists on stolen Indigenous land” and that it should “commit to returning it” on the patriotic holiday.
As many serious political activists do, Ben and Jerry’s did not just end their message with a simple tweet; they dedicated an entire article detailing why America should be denounced and why the fourth of July is a somber holiday in their view. Recommending to turn it into a day that “embraces freedom and justice for all,” Ben and Jerry’s suggests a great way to celebrate it is to protest to take down Mount Rushmore.
“But what is the meaning of Independence Day for those whose land this country stole, those who were murdered and forced with brutal violence onto reservations, those who were pushed from their holy places and denied their freedom? The faces on Mount Rushmore are the faces of men who actively worked to destroy Indigenous cultures and ways of life, to deny Indigenous people their basic rights.”
Instead of acknowledging the brave men and women who fought for their freedom and with it their right to criticize their country, Ben and Jerry’s found that it’s best to ignore how they have benefited from living on this “stolen land” so that their agenda would not be interrupted by the truth.