OAN’s Noah Herring
1:21 PM – Wednesday, July 5, 2023
Ice Cream company Ben and Jerry’s posted a controversial message arguing that the U.S. should return “stolen indigenous land” to Native Americans, starting with Mount Rushmore, despite it being America’s Independence Day.
“This 4th of July, it’s high time we recognize that the US exists on stolen Indigenous land and commit to returning it,” Ben & Jerry’s tweeted Tuesday morning.
“What is the meaning of Independence Day for those whose land this country stole, those who were murdered and forced with brutal violence onto reservations, those who were pushed from their holy places and denied their freedom,” company representatives said. “The faces on Mount Rushmore are the faces of men who actively worked to destroy Indigenous cultures and ways of life, to deny Indigenous people their basic rights.”
On their website, the company argued further that the Supreme Court agreed with them, ruling that Mount Rushmore was on stolen land. The court awarded $105 million in damages to the Sioux tribe, however, they declined the payment.
Since posting the message, Ben & Jerry’s has been flooded with negative backlash on social media. Some people even referred to the post as the company’s “Bud Light moment.”
On Twitter, other users called for the company to be the first to act, giving up its profits and properties back to the Abenaki people.
Notable Canadian internet personality and former psychologist Dr. Jordan Peterson took to Twitter, calling the move a “Budweiser moment.”
Many people have also called out Ben & Jerry’s parent company, Unilever, for continuing business in Russia following the invasion of Ukraine. Unilever has been accused by the U.K.-based Moral Rating Agency for helping Russian President Vladimir Putin invade Ukraine.
“Unilever must stop hiding behind its balance sheet and excuses to face the reality that selling an ice cream can allow Putin to pay for a bullet,” Mark Dixon, the group’s founder, told the BBC.
This is not the first time that Ben & Jerry’s has taken a controversial stance that went viral. In 2017, the popular ice cream company implemented a strange rule to protest against Australia’s unwillingness to legalize same-sex marriage. In protest, Ben & Jerry’s decided to ban customers from getting two scoops of the same flavor, as an analogy for the gay marriage ban at the time.
In the past, the ice cream company has also sparked controversy over its boycott of Israel and lawsuits against them claiming they employ child labor in their supply chain.
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