Power Move: Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, Bold Demand!

On the day most Americans were celebrating the nation’s birthday, Ben & Jerry’s, the famous ice cream maker, made a daring statement. They urged the nation to acknowledge that the land upon which the United States was established was taken from the indigenous people. They even suggested a plan for giving some of it back.

“America was built on land that was unfairly taken from Native Americans. This Independence Day, let’s start making amends,” was the potent message from Ben & Jerry’s. They contended that the usual July 4th activities—parades, barbecues, and fireworks—often lead us to overlook a hard fact about our country’s beginning.

Ben & Jerry’s, based in Vermont, suggested that one way to make amends would be to give back Mount Rushmore. They highlighted the iconic memorial’s historical importance to Native Americans.

“But what does Independence Day mean to those who lost their land, those who suffered violence and were forcibly moved to reservations, and those who were evicted from their sacred places?” asked Ben & Jerry’s. They pointed out that the individuals immortalized on Mount Rushmore were part of efforts to suppress indigenous cultures and deny their fundamental rights.

The ice cream brand noted that the Supreme Court had, in a 1980 ruling, agreed that the land on which Mount Rushmore stands was wrongly taken from the Sioux tribe. Despite being offered $105 million in damages, the Sioux refused the money.

“America sits on land taken without permission. We need to remember that—not just today, but every day. The Supreme Court has already agreed in the case of Mount Rushmore!” noted Ben & Jerry’s.

They pushed for returning the revered location to the Lakota tribe on this 4th of July, envisioning a day that genuinely symbolizes freedom and justice for all.

Ben & Jerry’s controversial tweet was released on Independence Day, notwithstanding their recent criticisms of Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter.

In early June, Ben & Jerry’s revealed that they would stop paying for advertising on Twitter, attributing this to a rise in hateful speech on the platform after Musk assumed control. The company expressed grave concern about the increased offensive content and the lack of moderation.

Known for advocating progressive causes, Ben & Jerry’s has supported the LGBTQ+ community, the Black Lives Matter movement, and other contentious issues. In 2021, the company drew criticism and boycotts when it decided not to sell ice cream in what it called Israel’s “Occupied Palestinian Territory.”

Nevertheless, Ben & Jerry’s stands by its activism, stating on its website that its goal is to “eliminate injustices in our communities by making these concerns an integral part of our daily business.”