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Make Virtue Signaling More Expensive

(Ben & Jerry’s via AP)

Virtue signaling is one of corporate America’s favorite pastimes. It’s a practice that allows the corporation to seem like it cares about this or that while not actually having to do much of anything to prove it. In fact, you can live completely hypocritically in today’s day and age so long as you simply espouse the values your mainstream overlords tell you to.

For years, virtue signaling was, like talk typically is, pretty cheap. During Pride Month you could simply slap a rainbow overlay over your logo and you were off to the gay races. Did your company actually care about LGBT people? Not even a little bit. If tomorrow the entire world decided it was so anti-LGBT that they were willing to throw gays off of roofs like they do in Middle-Eastern countries, then there would be ads that featured falling gay people.

By the way, the corporations who support Pride Month don’t change put their logos through rainbow-ification for their Middle-Eastern, Chinese, or Russian social media accounts.

Sure, corporations may start programs that make it seem like they’re helping out, but when you’re a multi-billion dollar corporation, pledging a few million dollars is couch cushion change. If they were honest, the money wouldn’t be called “donations,” but “here, now shut up” money.

Regular citizens do the same thing. On Twitter, you’ll find a plethora of accounts with the Ukrainian flag emoji somewhere in the bio. They support Ukraine’s war and believe that the U.S. should do whatever it can to help in the effort to defend itself from Russia! However, if you were to show up at their door and ask them to give a huge portion of their property to the war effort or ask them to take up arms and fight Russia alongside the Ukrainians, they’d immediately decline. They don’t want to actually support the war effort, they just want to be seen cheering it on.

The same can be said of celebrities who denounce and insult Republicans or Americans who don’t agree with one issue or another. For instance, how many celebrities badmouthed Trump about the way he allegedly treated illegal migrants? What about those kids in the cages? Not one of those celebrities would have taken any of these people into their own homes. When confronted with that prospect, they go silent as the grave.

But they should be pressured to put their money where their mouth is anytime they open it, and I can’t think of a more perfect place to start than with the ultimate corporate virtue signalers that are Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream.

Recently, Ben & Jerry’s celebrated July 4th by reminding everyone that we’re all horrible people because we’re celebrating our independence on stolen land. As Nick Arama reported, the backlash to the tweet was immediate and devastating. The Vermont-based company was confronted with the fact that their HQ is also on the land stolen from the Abenaki people.

As Newsweek recently reported, after hearing that the company was all about returning stolen land, the Abenaki people notified the ice cream corporation (owned by Unilever) that they would like their land returned:

Don Stevens, chief of the Nulhegan Band of The Coosuk Abenaki Nation—one of four descended from the Abenaki that are recognized in Vermont—told Newsweek it was “always interested in reclaiming the stewardship of our lands,” but that the company had yet to approach them.

“We are always interested in reclaiming the stewardship of our lands throughout our traditional territories and providing opportunities to uplift our communities,” Stevens said when asked about whether the Nulhegan Abenaki Tribe would want to see the property handed over to Indigenous people.

While the chief said that the tribe “has not been approached in regards to any land back opportunities from Ben & Jerry’s,” he added: “If and when we are approached, many conversations and discussions will need to take place to determine the best path forward for all involved.”

As of this writing, Ben and Jerry’s has not issued any statements about this request from the Abenaki Nation, nor have they acknowledged the backlash regarding the discovery of their hypocrisy.

I wouldn’t hold my breath either. That July 4 post was a virtue signal and virtue signals aren’t about doing good, it’s about looking good. B&J isn’t likely to give up the land…but they should be pressured to. In fact, this should become the common response to anything they say or do.

New ice cream flavor? When are you giving your land back to the Abenaki Nation?

New tweet? When are you giving your land back to the Abenaki Nation?

New statement about something that happened in DC? When are you giving your land back to the Abenaki Nation? The pressure should be constant…as should the refusal to buy their ice cream.

To truly make a virtue signal expensive, it has to cost more than a few million dollars. It has to cost their image. Like Call of Duty, Bud Light, and Target, Ben & Jerry’s brand should get so wrapped up in this issue that their name is no longer synonymous with ice cream, but with the Abenaki Nation. No matter what they do, that hypocrisy is staring them directly in the face. It should be inescapable. They should wear this embarrassment wherever they go.

That’s how you truly make a virtue signal costly. Aim for their image and their bank account will fall with it.

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