Ben and Jerry's uses ice cream to explain how to defund the police
Defunding police services has been a practical option discussed as part of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Ben and Jerry’s is unusual in the way it operates as a company. While most businesses are desperate to avoid any topic that could even be remotely described as controversial, Ben and Jerry’s utilises the approach of embracing hot topics of public interest – something that could be interpreted as ironic for an ice cream manufacturer.
Among the issues that Ben and Jerry’s chooses to speak out about include climate change, LGBTQ+ equality, refugees and Fairtrade. Now, following the widespread public involvement with the Black Lives Matter campaigns, the ice cream creatives have furthered their commitment to helping construct peace throughout society.
During the publicity of the Black Lives Matter protests one aim was identified as being a major component in ensuring that institutional racism is wiped out and that black people have truly equal rights as everyone else. The objective was to defund police services, a process which Ben and Jerry’s explained in a simple format using ice cream scoops – and spread as far as possible using its status as a substantial and trusted brand.
Although the actions of defunding the police may appear to be rather complicated, the idea revolves around slicing up the total police budget and dishing out extra funding to schemes that help to prevent crime from forming (consequently requiring a smaller police force, which in turn reduces the likelihood of people having negative interactions with officers).
The straightforward Ben and Jerry’s graphic details that if money from the total US police budget of $115 billion was scooped out to organisations involved with affordable housing, job training, education, mental health counselling and substance abuse treatment then these interventions could be used to benefit whole communities.
As the endeavours of Black Lives Matter continue and more companies begin to recognise the significance of the movement, perhaps in the future more businesses will use their wealth and reputation to back activities that help more than just their own shareholders.