Ben & Jerry's urges America to 'dismantle white supremacy'

Bartiromo: We can’t bring George Floyd back but we can fix this together

FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo says what America faces right now requires compassion and forgiveness.

Ben & Jerry's, the ice-cream maker whose founders have a history of backing social-justice causes, joined a roster of companies speaking out about the death of a black man in police custody, urging Americans in an open letter to "dismantle white supremacy in all its forms."

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The Vermont-based ice cream maker's missive, posted on its website and social media, listed four steps the country should take, titled "Silence Is Not An Option," after more than a week of protests, some peaceful and others violent, over the death of George Floyd.

The latest in an array of black people to die in police custody in recent years, Floyd was being detained May 25 by a white Minneapolis officer since charged with murder.

"We have to speak out. We have to stand together with the victims of murder, marginalization, and repression because of their skin color, and with those who seek justice through protests across our country," Ben & Jerry's wrote.

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"What happened to George Floyd was not the result of a bad apple; it was the predictable consequence of a racist and prejudiced system and culture that has treated black bodies as the enemy from the beginning," the firm said.

Four years ago, in October 2016, the company founded by Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield issued a statement in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Later that year, Cohen and Greenfield were among the hundreds of people arrested as part of the “Democracy Awakening” protests in Washington, D.C., calling on Congress to restore voting rights and "get big money out of politics" according to the NAACP.

In this week's statement, the company urged President Trump to publicly disavow "white supremacists and nationalist groups" and not to use Twitter "to promote and normalize their ideas and agendas."

Trump, who is seeking re-election this year, has faced accusations of racism before, including after a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., when he said there were "fine people" on both sides of a confrontation between the group and protestors who had come to oppose them. The president has repeatedly denied the claims.

Ben & Jerry's also wants Congress to pass legislation "that would create a commission to study the history of slavery and discrimination from 1619 to the present and recommend appropriate remedies." It further recommends a national task force — as the Floyd family wants — to draft a bipartisan bill aimed at ending racial violence and increasing police accountability.

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"We can’t continue to fund a criminal justice system that perpetuates mass incarceration while at the same time threatens the lives of a whole segment of the population," the company wrote.

And finally, the company is also calling on the Department of Justice to reinvigorate its Civil Rights Division and reinstate Obama-era efforts that used consent decrees to curb police abuses.

"Unless and until white America is willing to collectively acknowledge its privilege, take responsibility for its past and the impact it has on the present, and commit to creating a future steeped in justice, the list of names that George Floyd has been added to will never end," Ben and Jerry's wrote.

Other companies that have commented publicly on Floyd's death and the protests afterward include Amazon, Facebook and Peloton. Here's a sample of what they've said on social media:

Amazon

Facebook 

Google 

Netflix 

Peloton

Ralph Lauren 

Steve Madden

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Target 

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