Ben & Jerry's New Ice Cream Makes a Political Statement

By Dave Fusaro, Editor in Chief

May 19, 2016

As we reported April 20, the original Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield were arrested along with 300 others in an April 18 demonstration outside the U.S. Capitol, protesting the role of money in politics. This week, their former company, Ben & Jerry's Homemade Inc., released a new flavor, Empower Mint, that continues that crusade.

"This fudge-filled flavor reflects our belief that voting gives everyone a taste of empowerment and that an election should be more 'by the people' and less 'buy the people," the company said in revealing the new product. "We all deserve an equal serving of democracy."

The new flavor has a peppermint ice cream base with swirls of fudge and chunks of chewy brownie.

"We think democracy only works when it works for everyone," the announcement continued. "But since the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act, the landmark civil rights law, a number of states have passed unacceptable voting access laws that make it harder for people vote - particularly Black people and their allies in the rising new majority such as young people, students and other people of color. That’s why we must stand together and call on our leaders to not only reauthorize the Voting Rights Act, but to fight back against new laws that undermine our freedom to vote, ensuring a democracy that works for everyone."

The Vermont-based brand is now owned by Unilever. Although Greenfield and Cohen are no longer officers of the company, they remain "involved," according to a company spokesman. The announcements also linked to an online petition to restore the Voting Rights Act and noted a portion of the proceeds from Empower Mint will benefit the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP.

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