Ben & Jerry’s creates flavors of ice cream, but they also create controversy. The latest has been their belief that “it’s high time we recognize that the US exists on stolen land and commit to returning it.” Unilever is the company that now owns Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. So far, it has lost $2 billion in market capitalization.
The first step, according to Ben & Jerry’s, would be to return the Black Hills of South Dakota, including Mount Rushmore, to the Lakota. Rich Lowry says that raises another question. “Once this transfer takes place, will the Lakota turn around and give the Black Hills back to the tribes they took them from?”
He warns that it isn’t wise to get your history lessons from people making ice cream. In his op-ed on “The Myth of Native American Innocence,” he reminds us that the history of North America is complex. Yes, the way this country treated several Indian tribes is a sad, dark chapter of American history. But that should be placed alongside the hatred, greed, and violence of the Indian tribes that engaged in intertribal warfare.
My response to so many of the claims by leftists these days is, “You first.” If you are concerned that your white privilege got you into college, then give up your scholarship and your place at the university. If you believe we should give back stolen land: “You first.”
The Ben and Jerry’s facility and corporate office sits on the land once occupied by the Coosuk Abenaki Nation. The chief of one of the tribes that descended from the Abenaki said his tribe is “always interested in reclaiming the stewardship of our lands.”
If it is time to give back stolen land, then my message to Ben & Jerry’s is, “You first.”