The “Americone Dream”

I’m always conflicted when I see big corporations expressing an opinion on a controversial issue. On the one hand, it has nothing to do with them and is hardly their place, kind of like when white people attend a Black Lives Matter march. Let the people affected by the issue be the focus of the activism.

On the other hand, if the corporations whose money and power moves mountains, elections, and legislation, making change would be much harder.

On April 20th, also known as the marijuana holiday 420, Ben and Jerry’s took a stand on Twitter against the unreasonable marijuana-related incarcerations of black people.

Ben and Jerry’s is known for its involvement in socially responsible activism, including fighting against oil drilling, cow cloning and carbon emissions. What they’ve never attacked, however, is racism, and their message was not ignored.

Twitter users took to the comments to express both their appreciation and disgust for the ice cream company’s powerful message, some promising never to purchase their ice cream again, while some applauded its boldness and attention to the issue.

One user alluded to leftist extremism.

When a company or brand is so large, so powerful and so well-known, how can we define what its boundaries are? What does it mean for a corporation to stay in its lane? If corporations get to have an opinion when they donate money to candidates, why can’t they root for a cause? When does it become appropriate for an ice cream producer to fight against mass incarceration?

From the comments, it seems like its only appropriate if the company is campaigning for a cause you support. If you don’t, you criticize their civic engagement.