With ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s announcement on Tuesday showcasing a new flavor to help support groups “fighting President Trump’s regressive agenda,” the company revealed that they recently partnered with the Women’s March organization.
Today we launch Pecan Resist! This flavor supports groups creating a more just and equitable nation for us all, and who are fighting President Trump’s regressive agenda. Learn more and take action here >> https://t.co/Bi8YE1FvOZ pic.twitter.com/Kr6CKBX1sc
— Ben & Jerry's (@benandjerrys) October 30, 2018
“Women’s March is committed to harnessing the political power of diverse women and their communities to create transformative social change,” Ben & Jerry’s website states.
In the aftermath of the Tree of Life synagogue mass shooting that left 11 Jewish-Americans dead, the national conversation has turned to anti-semitism, which has brought renewed criticism to the Women’s March leaders’ close relationship with Nation of Islam’s Louis Farrakhan.
“The Women’s March Has a Farrakhan Problem,” The Atlantic ran in March, reporting on the “three Women’s March co-chairs — Linda Sarsour, Carmen Perez, and Tamika Mallory” ties with the openly anti-semitic Farrakhan:
“More mysterious and disturbing was the extended reluctance of the Women’s March, nearly a year since it became public, to acknowledge Farrakhan’s extremist views and disassociate themselves from them.”
The Atlantic explained how it took almost a full year for the group to “mildly” denounce Farrakhan’s past statements on Jewish people, who he has regularly called “Satanic Jews.”
When asked directly about the Women’s March close ties to Farrakhan, a spokeswoman for Ben & Jerry’s told IJR they may not agree with all the groups they partner with, but they are “comfortable” with having different views, even “controversial” ones:
“We’re comfortable with the idea that the people and the causes we partner with may have a point of view different from our own on some issues. They can be controversial, just as we can. Linda may not agree with everything we’ve done. But the work that she has done to promote women’s rights, as co-chair of the Women’s March, is undeniably important and we are proud to join her in that effort.”
They included a statement from Women’s March’s Linda Sarsour: “We recommit ourselves to dismantling anti-Semitism and all forms of racism.”
Sarsour did lead a vigil for the victims of the synagogue shooting, which did raise eyebrows given her relationship with Farrakhan.
Farrakhan has caused controversy in recent weeks after posting a video on his Twitter account, where he says “I’m not an anti-Semite. I’m anti-Termite.” BuzzFeed News reported Twitter will not be suspending Farrakhan for the tweet that appears to violate its “proposed new policies around ‘dehumanizing’ tweets.”
When asked if the company has a position on Farrakhan, the Ben & Jerry’s spokeswoman told IJR, “No. We are focusing our efforts toward women empowerment.”