The ice cream giant came out in support of the H.R. 40 bill in 2019, issuing a statement and urging Americans to start talking about reparations.
“Four hundred years ago, the first enslaved Africans were brought to North America in Jamestown, Virginia. As all of us acknowledge and observe this anniversary, we, as a company, believe it’s important to take a decisive stand in support of reparations. That is why we back H.R. 40, a bill before Congress that would create a commission to study the effects of slavery and discrimination from 1619 to the present and recommend appropriate remedies,” the statement read.
It continued, “We recognize that acknowledging the structural racism that is deeply woven into the fabric of our society is difficult. It can be uncomfortable or even shaming. But H.R. 40 gives us a chance to be honest about our history, and hopeful for our future.”
The statement addressed the Atlantic slave trade, Jim Crow, mass incarceration, and systemic racism.
“From Wall Street to the White House, enslaved people built America, making us one of the richest countries on earth. While America’s wealth has grown exponentially since 1619, the bill for all that unpaid labor has been ignored. Ancestral enslavement and the resulting institutional racism have had a devastating effect on African American life—politically, economically, and socially. Today we have an opportunity as a nation to do something about it. A process of honest reflection and frank acknowledgment of the wrongs perpetrated and wounds left unhealed, can unify our nation and bring our people together, so that together we continue our long and unending journey towards a more perfect union.”
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