Ben & Jerry’s Criticized for Posting Anti-American 4th of July Message

Originally published July 5, 2023 4:00 pm PDT

Ben & Jerry’s ice cream company received backlash after posting a 4th of July message about America being “founded on stolen land.”

  • Ice cream giant Ben & Jerry’s faced backlash after posting an anti-American 4th of July message on Tuesday.
  • “Ah, the Fourth of July,” the company claimed in a statement. “Who doesn’t love a good parade, some tasty barbecue, and a stirring fireworks display? The only problem with all that, though, is that it can distract from an essential truth about this nation’s birth: The US was founded on stolen Indigenous land.”
  • “The U.S. exists on stolen land,” the statement later claimed. “We have to acknowledge that—today and every day.”
  • Political commentator Joel M. Petlin called out apparent hypocrisy from the ice cream company when he posted a screenshot of a news article titled “Jewish students call for Ben & Jerry’s to evacuate ‘illegally occupied’ Vermont land.”
  • “Speaking of stolen land, the Abenaki Nation would like to have a word with @benandjerrys about the land under their headquarters that they are occupying in Vermont,” he said. “They really should commit to returning this stolen land, and naming their next flavor *Shameful Hypocrisy Crunch*”

“Ben & Jerry’s, your once-good ice cream now sucks. You just guaranteed that I (a once-loyal customer) will never again consume a single pint of it,” Lee said.

  • In August 2022, 1,000 Israeli students called out Ben & Jerry’s “hypocrisy,” accusing the company of “occupying” native land in Vermont.
  • The students, all of whom were involved in higher education and academics, sent a letter to Ben & Jerry’s ice cream calling out the ice cream seller’s hypocrisy for objecting to the sale of ice cream in Israeli West Bank settlements.
  • The students were part of a newly-launched ‘Students for Justice’ in America and claimed that Ben & Jerry’s was holding a double standard by taking their parent company, Unilever, to court.
  • “We have concluded that your company’s occupation of the Abenaki lands is illegal and we believe it is wholly inconsistent with the stated values that Ben & Jerry’s purports to maintain,” the letter, addressed to the chair of the ice cream maker’s board, Anuradha Mittal, read.
  • The suit was announced almost a year after the company said they would stop the sale of ice cream in Jewish settlements in the West Bank because doing so would be “inconsistent” with company values.
  • Unilever reversed course on the original boycott and revealed a sale to Zinger. Legal sources cited in the Wall Street Journal said it is almost unheard of for Ben & Jerry’s to respond by suing Unilever as its subsidiary.