Law enforcement support blog Blue Lives Matter announced that will boycott Ben and Jerry’s, after the ice cream maker made a public statement of support for Black Lives Matter.
Ben and Jerry’s announced its support for Black Lives Matter last week, with company officials stating that it felt it had a moral obligation to stand for justice. This is not the first political stance that the company has taken, with previous statements supporting causes such as marriage equality and democratic participation.
Nevertheless, Blue Lives Matter objects to the way that Ben and Jerry’s phrased its support, writing that the ice cream company’s statement needlessly paints law enforcement as villains.
“Ben & Jerry’s went beyond making a statement in support of civil rights when they actively accused law enforcement of widespread racism,” wrote Blue Lives Matter in a blog post. “By spreading these false and misleading statements, Ben & Jerry’s lends an appearance of legitimacy to the baseless claims that police officers are killing men based on the color of their skin.”
“This message has inspired the assassination and attempted assassination of police officers, and it costs officers their lives.”
Ben and Jerry’s stated in its initial post that although it believes that all lives matter, including those of law enforcement officers, it believes that law enforcement interactions with black populations are vastly different than those of white populations.
“We want to be clear: we believe that saying Black lives matter is not to say that the lives of those who serve in the law enforcement community don’t,” Ben and Jerry’s wrote. “We respect and value the commitment to our communities that those in law enforcement make, and we respect the value of every one of their lives.”
Blue Lives Matter says that despite this caveat, it interprets that Ben and Jerry is labeling law enforcement officers as "humanity thieves."
Blue Lives Matter also asserts that while many believe that Black Lives Matter is a civil rights group, that is not the case. Individuals may interpret the cause in their own way, but Black Lives Matter’s official stated goals are less compelling to the broader public, blog writers say.
The blog's author, Officer Blue, says that since a majority of Americans would not agree with all of Black Lives Matter's political positions, that more people should embrace the Blue Lives Matter boycott of Ben and Jerry's.
Black Lives Matter protesters have been active in the United States since 2013, when the group formed in response to a number of shootings of African-American men, including Trayvon Martin, who died at the hands of neighborhood watch coordinator George Zimmerman.
More recently, following greater scrutiny of police treatment of African-American individuals and ensuing protests against law enforcement, a corresponding police movement, Blue Lives Matter, arose.
Although Black Lives Matter leaders officially called for the end of violence on both sides, several incidents that left police officers dead spurred several states and cities to consider measures to protect police, widely known as Blue Lives Matter measures.
In May, Louisiana became the first state to extend hate crimes protections to law enforcement officers and other first responders in an effort to protect law enforcement.
Within two months, law enforcement foiled one plot to kill police officers after an incident led to the death of Alton Sterling at the hands of Baton Rouge police. Later in July, an African-American man and former soldier killed three police officers in the same city.
Blue Lives Matter said on Thursday that it believes that many Americans are likely to support their cause.
"By not only attacking law enforcement, but openly supporting Black Lives Matter, Ben & Jerry’s is sure to anger most Americans who do not agree with the political causes that they are supporting," wrote Blue Lives Matter.