One of the stranger trends of the last couple years is brands that are good at Twitter. Wendy’s, Charmin, KFC, even Netflix have strangely personable, somewhat eccentric social media staffers cranking out tweets that are witty, goofy, thoughtful, even recognizably, perhaps eerily human. Still, it was a touch surreal to see Ben & Jerry’s — the company that sells themed ice cream like the Bernie Sanders-related “Bernie’s Yearning” — dropping a woke tweet in honor of 4/20.
“It’s hard to celebrate 4/20 when so many people of color are still being arrested for pot. We have to do better,” read the tweet of the company that put out the Grateful Dead-themed “Cherry Garcia,” as well as “Phish Food.”
The tweet also linked to a page on the company site that elaborated on the concepts introduced in the tweet. The page celebrates that marijuana is currently legal in 33 states, thus making it easier for burners to ring in the annual holiday, whose date is police code for a pot bust.
“Even if you’re not in a state that legalized pot, there’s a still a pretty good chance that the cops won’t hassle you as you spend 4/20 doing your thing,” reads the page, before ominously adding, “If you’re a white person.”
The Ben & Jerry’s site then breaks down the numbers, such as the eight million arrested for marijuana possession between 2001 and 2010, or how a black person was 3.73 times more likely to get busted than a Caucasian.
Surely not every brand feels comfortable honoring 4/20, but Ben & Jerry’s — who’ve been with us since 1978, holding their own against the likes of Dove and Häagen-Dazs and Van Leeuwen — truly went above and beyond. They know their audience, many of whom, when hit by the famous munchies, no doubt avail themselves of “Chunky Monkey” or perhaps the company’s number one seller, “Half Baked.”
And how did people take this? With slightly confused but genuine appreciation.
Of course, we shouldn’t be surprised: It was only Thursday when the company behind the Stephen Colbert-themed “AmeriCone Dream” tweeted in support of the New Green Deal (and angered some customers).