Corporate America’s response to the protests over racial injustice and the killing of George Floyd has been about what you would expect: lots of black squares on Instagram, statements by CEOs decrying racism, some silence. Nike posted a video with a twist on its slogan: “For once, don’t do it,” the company urged, the “it” being choosing complacency or not “being part of the change.”
Standing out in this vanilla-bland crowd is ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s, which posted a lengthy and pointed message on its website blaming Floyd’s murder on “inhumane police brutality that is perpetuated by a culture of white supremacy. The company called for white America to “acknowledge its privilege” and for the need for action to “dismantle white supremacy.”
The frozen-dessert company’s missive also distinguished itself with its specificity: The message expressed support for concrete policy steps, including the passage of Democratic-sponsored legislation creating a commission to study the effects of slavery and discrimination and to consider reparation proposals; and the establishment of a task force supported by Floyd’s family’s to draft “bipartisan legislation aimed at ending racial violence and increasing police accountability.” It also suggested the Department of Justice “reinvigorate” its civil rights division and for the restoration of consent decrees rolled back by the administration of President Trump curbing police abuses.