Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, co-founders of the iconic ice cream brand Ben & Jerry’s, are speaking out against police brutality.
In a Nov. 9 opinion piece for USA Today, Cohen and Greenfield wrote, "When police abuse Black people, it's not a Black problem. It's a white problem. While Black people bear the brunt of police brutality, it's white people who allow this racism to continue.”
The duo cited several incidents in Maryland, Kentucky and Ohio where African Americans were assaulted by police.
“When we were growing up, our mothers taught us the policeman was our friend. Black mothers have no choice but to teach their children to fear the police.”
They also added, "As uncomfortable as it makes us feel, our inaction feeds and perpetuates injustice. Some of us claim to be neutral, but the reality is that neutrality preserves the status quo. If we choose to use it, we white people have the power to hold rogue cops accountable and create a society where Black mothers can also teach their children that the policeman is their friend."
Ben and Jerry are putting their money where their mouth is. They are co-chairs of the Campaign to End Qualified Immunity, which “includes a coalition of more than 2,000 business leaders, professional athletes, police and celebrities, as well as dozens of national organizations, including Americans for Prosperity, the ACLU and hundreds of thousands of concerned citizens, to mobilize people in every state to demand integrity, accountability and better public safety.”
The campaign is demanding an end to qualified immunity. Since the 1960’s, the Supreme Court implemented qualified immunity to prevent civilians from suing public officials (including police officers) for constitutional violations including excessive use of power.
This isn’t the first time Ben and Jerry have spoken out about political and social issues. Back in 2016, the dairy masters released an official statement in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.