The Most Racist Thing I’ve Ever Seen

I’ve seen repeated videos of police brutality.

I’ve heard Donald Trump’s dog-whistle bait to keep certain ethnicities and religions out of America.

Every morning I wake up to between 5 and 5,034 emails from alt-right “racial realists” informing me that I am genetically inferior to the White man.

But none of that compares to what I saw yesterday. It was both hilarious and disheartening. It simultaneously gave me hope for America and stole all my faith that this country would ever get over racism.

Yesterday Ben and Jerry’s Ice cream released a statement declaring that Black Lives Matter, and that choosing to be silent is tantamount to ignoring racism. It was not just a perfunctory, “yeah, alright you silly negroes” that we have seen from some people. It was a full-fledged “we’re-in-your-corner” statement. Of course the reaction was predictable. White people lost their shit.

(I’d like to point out the pettiness of one of the responses to the above post was someone asking, “You never was a fan, and their ice cream sucks? Then why are you on their page, then?” Salute.)

Look, I understand the prejudice passed down by parents or society. I can even slightly understand buying into Neo-Nazi propaganda because you feel like you’re losing your power. But HOW THE FUCK CAN YOU BE SO RACIST THAT YOU’RE MAD AT ICE CREAM?

Ice cream?

Look, I’m lactose intolerant and haven’t eaten ice cream since my grandmother made it in a homemade churn when I was a small child. My stomach turns into a furious puke and dookie volcano if anything milky even crosses my lips.  Even so, I still  know that ice cream is one of the most delicious foods on the planet. I’m not a jealous person, but every time I see someone eating a delicious ice cream cone, I remind them that dark-skinned Jesus said that’s why he came–so that they may have life… life more abundantly. And Ice cream. I know that’s in the bible somewhere. Plus, biblical scholars say when the children of Israel escaped slavery, the manna from heaven that God sustained them with was actually ice cream sandwiches. I’m serious. Ice cream is what separates us from the animals. In fact, in a 2013 survey that never existed, given the choice of losing their opposable thumbs and never having ice cream again, 4 out of five people said they would give up their thumbs.

Ice cream is that fucking delicious.

Which means–if you are willing to give up your favorite ice cream because the company who makes it believes that Black people should simply be allowed to live–you must be racist as fuck. That is peak level, Adolph Hitler, noose-tying racism right there.

***I’d like to interrupt this rant with a story:

I was home-schooled, but once I visited my cousin’s school when we went to visit them (I don’t know how they let me just chill in their class all day, but it was a simpler time). I don’t remember much, except that I recall the math was really easy and they had those little circular containers of ice cream that came with a little wooden spoon. Having never been to a school, it didn’t make me want to go to school. It made me want to go to their school. I thought they went to a magical school that gave you ice cream every day. In my mind, that shit was better than Hogwarts.

I tell that story to illustrate a point: If I was that enraptured by a half-a-cup of shitty, ice-milked, PET Ice cream that you literally had to eat with a stick, then you know Ben & Jerry is exponentially delightful. Again, I don’t even eat Ice cream, but if I did, I’m sure it would be Ben & Jerry’s, not that weird-looking Baskin-Robbins bullshit (sorry, Karen). Baskin Robbins sounds like they should be doing my taxes. “Ben & Jerry” sound like they make good ice cream. In fact, I’d be willing to eat anything made by two people named Ben & Jerry. If you handed me a bowl of peach cobbler, and told me it had shards of glass in it, but was made by Ben & Jerry, I’d be like, “Where’s my spoon?”I always knew they weren’t racist because it is impossible to hate people because of the color of their skin with a spoonful of Chunky Monkey in your mouth. Both Ben and Jerry are white, but I might even eat their potato salad. Maybe.

Here is an obscure fact that illustrates both how great ice cream is, and how unbelievably mean racism can be:

In the Jim Crow South, Black children were forbidden to eat vanilla ice cream.

That’s how strong hate is.

It can make some people eschew the tastiest, loveliest gift from heaven because another person wants to spread love. That is what racism will do. At its base it is anti-happiness. It is an evil seed growing in the hearts  and minds of some people and it can never be extracted. No amount of marching can stop it. No negro spiritual can heal it. All you can do is hope they don’t spread it. Racism is a sickness and it is always terminal. There is only one bright side to the people who are boycotting Ben & Jerry’s and continue to carry and spread this hate from generation to generation:

They don’t get ice cream.



About the author

Michael Harriot is a renowned spoken word poet, the host of The Black One podcast and the editor-in-chief of NegusWhoRead. He is perpetually just getting warmed up because he has no chill. He is on Instagram and twitter as @michaelharriot

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