Ben & Jerry’s just became one of the first major businesses to explicitly support efforts to defund police, posting a Juneteenth message that called on Americans to “dismantle the old system and build a new one that guarantees freedom and justice for all.”
The Vermont-based ice cream company posted a detailed breakdown on its website of what the movement to defund police means.
It explains the racist roots of American policing and argues that defunding police “offers the best opportunity in generations to completely transform our model of policing and create stronger, safer communities where Black Americans and people of color can finally experience and celebrate true freedom.”
“‘Defund the police’ means that we stop spending our tax dollars on so many of the discredited, dangerous, and racist parts of policing and instead invest that money in community-driven solutions that foster real health, peacekeeping, and safety,” the company says.
Like many companies, Ben & Jerry’s made a strong show of support for Black Lives Matter in the days after the George Floyd tragedy, urging Americans to “dismantle white supremacy” and “grapple with the sins of our past.”
But almost none of those companies have publicly expressed support for defunding police.
There was no equivocation in Ben & Jerry’s statement Friday: “This Juneteenth, on what should be our nation’s true Independence Day, it’s time to liberate ourselves from a dangerous, racist model of law enforcement and work toward a new vision of building thriving communities where all people have what they need to be healthy and safe.”