Ben & Jerry’s is calling on Americans to give back “stolen indigenous land” in a message posted to their website on the 4th of July.
The Vermont-based ice cream company chose to celebrate July 4 by asking American citizens to “take action” and commit to returning “stolen land” to indigenous peoples, according to the statement. The company has advocated for left-wing initiatives for years, as have the company’s founders.
“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,” Ben & Jerry’s said in the statement. “The US exists on stolen land. We have to acknowledge that—today and every day … This Fourth of July, it’s time to return that sacred place to the Lakota.”
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“The Indigenous-led Land Back movement is all about restoring the rights and freedoms of Indigenous people,” the company wrote. “It’s about dismantling white supremacy and systems of oppression and ensuring that Indigenous people can again govern the land their communities called home for thousands of years.”
The message was met with swift backlash online, with some calling the company hypocritical for operating their own business on “stolen land.”
“Let us know when you give your two plants and all the property in Vermont (Waterbury and St. Albine) to the Abenaki and Mahican peoples. Until then, you’re hypocrites,” wrote one @Mac-Arms a twitter user.
“Look at all that profit you’ve made over the decades with your ice cream company that sits on stolen land. When [are] you handing it all over to the natives along with all the property and assets you’ve accumulated along with your wealth?” another user wrote.
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Ben and Jerry’s has routinely advocated for initiatives including defunding the police, LGBTQ rights, the Green New Deal and the impeachment of former President Donald Trump, according to its website. Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, the company’s founders, supported Bernie Sanders’ platform during his 2016 and 2020 presidential campaigns, CBS reported.
“But I do have to say that Ben and I personally do support Bernie Sanders. And we are all in for Bernie!” Greenfield previously told CBS.
Ben & Jerry’s did not immediately respond to a request for comment
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