Ben & Jerry’s issued a statement of support for Black Lives Matter. I suppose this is a positive gesture that can raise consciousness.
But I am suspicious whenever a company or corporation takes a public stance on societal issues. Taken for granted by such a performance is the idea that these businesses, in and of themselves, are not part of the problem. This is a reverse-psychology tactic which exonerates corporations, and allows them to hide in plain sight. Just think of the way murderers often show up at their victim’s funeral.
Ben & Jerry’s says we should “join them in not being complicit”. But they have a long history of exploiting migrant labor to make their ice cream. The police exist to protect the needs of capitalists, whites, and men. As long as Ben & Jerry’s is open for business, they will be complicit – because they will help engender police violence against the very people they claim to be supporting.
It has become trendy for corporations to be socially conscious (i.e. several corporations support gay marriage). But remember: corporations dump large sums of money into elections as a form of ‘speech.’ Every time we celebrate their support, we validate the idea that ‘corporations are people’ with a vote. There is no such thing as conscious capitalism.