Tom Slater Tom Slater

Why do Ben & Jerry’s want to defund the police?

(Photo: iStock)

The radicalisation of the Ben & Jerry’s PR department has been one of the stranger spectacles of recent years. After all, for all its hippyish origins and homespun shtick, Ben & Jerry’s is a corporate giant flogging expensive ice creams with wacky names like Cherry Garcia and Truffle Kerfuffle. And yet it has become remarkably preoccupied with virtue-signalling and moral hectoring. It is hard to tell whether this is a deliberate strategy for attention, or if someone’s pious nephew has simply seized control of the social-media accounts at head office.

Following the killing of George Floyd last year, Ben & Jerry’s made a solemn pledge to help ‘dismantle white supremacy’. ‘Silence is NOT an option’, it thundered. Last summer, it took some shots at the UK home secretary over her handling of the channel crossings. ‘Hey @PritiPatel we think the real crisis is our lack of humanity for people fleeing war, climate change and torture. We pulled together a thread for you,’ it posted on Twitter. The thread consisted of a couple of points nicked from the Guardian, Huffpost and migration activists.

How can cash-stuffed capitalists pose as progressive freedom-fighters?

Even before 2020, when Black Lives Matter took the corporate world by storm, Ben & Jerry’s was breaking new ground for woke capitalism. In 2017, it banned the sale of two scoops of the same flavour in its Australian shops as some sort of twee protest against opponents of gay marriage. At the height of the Trump presidency it put out a new flavour called Pecan Resist. Just in case the message proved too subtle, it explicitly said ‘this flavour supports groups creating a more just and equitable nation for us all, and who are fighting President Trump’s regressive agenda’.

Now, following the horrific police killing of Daunte Wright in Minnesota, it has doubled down on its support

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