Ben & Jerry’s Founders Show Support For #BlackLivesMatter

January 28, 2015  |  

The founders of Ben & Jerry’s publicly put their support behind #BlackLivesMatter during the company’s annual franchisee meeting in New Orleans Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield both wore “Hands Up Don’t Shoot” t-shirts, which they urged their franchisees to sell in their shops. The shirts benefit Hands Up United, a grassroots organization founded by St. Louis hip-hop artist and activist Tef Poe and activist Taureen “Tory” Russell, reports The Root. Cohen and Greenfield also spoke out about police brutality and racism.

“Some people might say, ‘Oh, we can’t do that,’” Cohen said to franchise owners. “‘We can’t sell those T-shirts in our shops; it’s controversial.’ But isn’t that exactly the point? If it weren’t controversial, we wouldn’t need to do it. At some point we have to ask ourselves: ‘What do we stand for? Whose side are you on?’”

Cohen recited the names of Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, John Crawford and Michael Brown, all unarmed Black men and children who have been killed by police officers.

Cohen and Greenfield sold Ben & Jerry’s to Unilever Corp. in 2000 but are still deeply involved in operations.

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