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Ben & Jerry’s newest political flavor frontier: voting rights

“Empower Mint” is what democracy tastes like, the duo says

Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield earlier this year independently released a flavor o

Vermont ice cream-makers Ben & Jerry’s are at it again with a politically flavored treat: “Empower Mint.”

The confectionary duo unveiled the new flavor last week, joined in North Carolina by the state’s chapter of the NAACP.

“Democracy is in your hands!” reads an announcement on the B&J website. “This fudge-filled flavor reflects our belief that voting gives everyone a taste of empowerment, & that an election should be more ‘by the people’ and less ‘buy the people.’ We all deserve an equal serving of democracy.”

The company’s namesake creators, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, made sugary waves earlier this year when they released a flavor backing Bernie Sanders, the senator from their home state, in his quest for the presidency: “Bernie’s Yearning.” That was an independent effort, not endorsed by the company itself.

But this time around, the flavor is not partisan, and has the backing of the brand itself.

RELATED: Q+A: Ben and Jerry talk Bernie

“Democracy is in your hands!” reads an announcement on the B&J website. “This fudge-filled flavor reflects our belief that voting gives everyone a taste of empowerment, & that an election should be more ‘by the people’ and less ‘buy the people.’ We all deserve an equal serving of democracy.”

While the flavor — peppermint with fudgy bits —isn’t an endorsement of one candidate over another one, it doesn’t mince words about its gripes with the modern democratic process, taking aim at the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision to strip out parts of the Voting Rights Act and its impact on young voters and people of color in many southern states.

RELATED: Ben & Jerry’s co-founders arrested in Washington

“Were looking to bring national attention to this issue,” Cohen said in an interview with The Young Turks. “It’s only when we get money out of politics and we make voting accessible to everybody that we’ll be the democracy were supposed to have.”

Some of the proceeds from sales of “Empower Mint” tubs and sundaes support the North Carolina NAACP, and the company is also inviting customers to sign a petition.

Cohen and Greenfield’s activist streak landed them in the news in April, when they were among 300 people arrested during a “Democracy Awakening” protest at the U.S. Capitol.

 
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