Clownboy History Lessons From Ben and Jerry
“For the record, most ‘indigenous land’ was stolen by indigenous people from other indigenous people.”
In 1978, New York “anti-capitalist capitalists” Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield founded Ben & Jerry’s, a regional brand of ice cream products originally sourced in Vermont from all those tooting cows responsible for “climate change.” Cohen and Greenfield are cut from the same hypocritical cloth as Vermont’s socialist Senator Bernie Sanders. In 2000, they sold their high-cholesterol heart-attack line of products to the conglomerate Unilever but were retained on the payroll, and since then Ben and Jerry have been busy using the proceeds to promote far-left causes — now having become consummate hate hustlers.
This week, their B&J brand celebrated Independence Day by promoting this historically nescient tripe across social media: “This 4th of July, it’s high time we recognize that the US exists on stolen Indigenous land and commit to returning it.”
We swiftly rebutted that specious claim, noting, “For the record, most ‘indigenous land’ was stolen by indigenous people from other indigenous people.”
The B&J post linked to a corporate page proclaiming their first turnover project — returning Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills to the Lakota tribe.
Problem is, as National Review’s Rich Lowry notes: “Once this transfer takes place, will the Lakota turn around and give the Black Hills back to the tribes they took them from? It’s never a good idea to get history lessons from an ice cream maker with a hippy vibe that sold out to a multinational conglomerate.” He details further the history of this territory.
B&J insists their “Land Back” proposal is “about dismantling white supremacy and systems of oppression and ensuring that Indigenous people can again govern the land their communities called home for thousands of years.”
However, what you won’t find on Ben & Jerry’s hipster homepage is any mention that the land their company sits on in South Burlington, Vermont, was originally occupied by the indigenous Abenaki tribe, according to the National Park Service.
B&J was instantly pilloried on social media, including this response from Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX): “What’s stopping you? Go ahead — give up all your property. It would be easy to do, so why aren’t you doing it?” Likewise, NYPD officer and social media influencer Zeek Arkham questioned, “I’m wondering when you’ll give up the land your factory is on, and move your business to someplace on this planet that hasn’t been conquered, settled, fought over, or claimed?”
Prompted by B&J’s virtue-signaling history lesson, Don Stevens, chief of the Nulhegan Band of The Coosuk Abenaki Nation, which is one of the four groups descended from the Vermont Abenaki, said, “We are always interested in reclaiming the stewardship of our lands throughout our traditional territories and providing opportunities to uplift our communities.”
The company has yet to respond, but if they are anything but the wealthy leftist hypocrites we know they are, I am sure they will immediately either return the lands or pay Abenaki tribal descendants reparations, to include all profits from enterprises on those stolen lands. At least they could donate a casino!
For the record, I have a decent historical understanding of, and disdain for the repeated treaty betrayals of native peoples by 19th-century American presidents. My interest in that betrayal was sparked first by learning the history of Tennessean Andrew Jackson’s “Trail of Tears” removal of the Cherokee tribes — in defiance of a Supreme Court decree that he did not have the authority do so. However, in addition to violent attacks on settlers, the Cherokee have their own violent past with other tribal people, including the Shawnee and Muskogee-Creeks.
I was moved by Dee Brown’s 1970 book, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee – one of the first books to chronicle the lives of the Nez Perce from their perspective. I have studied the confrontation with natives at Wounded Knee Creek, an example of failed political and military leadership during the Plains Indian Wars, which resulted in the deaths of 146 Lakota men, women and children – though accounting for other dead, there were more than 250 Lakota deaths. There were 25 dead among the Seventh Cavalry. Likewise I have visited the site of the Battle of the Little Bighorn, where the arrogant and derelict George Armstrong Custer met his most deserving end at the hands of the Lakota Sioux, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho.
Moreover, our family has had roots for more than 250 years near what is now the Eastern Cherokee reservation. I have visited many native ancestral lands in North America. For my entire adult life, I have been fascinated by both the culture and weaponry of Eastern and Plains tribes.
That being said, I have also read deep into the history of native tribes, including the biographies of their most notable 19th century warring chiefs, Sitting Bull, Geronimo and Crazy Horse. These were not the peace-loving natives portrayed in Kevin Costner’s 1990 epic American West film “Dances with Wolves,” or other similarly idyllic portrayals, thought there were more peaceful tribal bands. Think more along the lines of “Last of the Mohicans” set during the French and Indian War.
From the earliest records of native migration into the North American west thousands of years ago, once those nomadic groups established tribal territories, these immigrants utilized unmitigated violence both defending their own territories and in conquest of others. They slaughtered men, women, and children, and they raped and enslaved survivors, then claimed their lands.
In closing, a few stats: Today, there are 574 federally recognized tribes in the U.S., and half of those are associated with tribal reservations. There are over five million native people, almost 80% of whom live outside reservations.
Perhaps in honor of the reparations that Ben & Jerry’s will NOT be paying, they can launch a new flavor, “Eat Crow” – though the’ve yet to launch my last suggested flavor, “Biden Brain Freeze.”
(Notably, the most famous of indigenous people descendants, Elizabeth “Honest Injun” Warren, has not commented on the B&J controversy.)
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