Ben & Jerry’s has unveiled its newest flavor of ice cream: “Empower Mint.”
This new addition to its already extensive, eclectic and delicious line of flavors is about more than just ice cream.
The ice cream giant announced the new flavor as part of its emerging efforts to assist registering voters in states where new voting rules—supposedly intended to curb fraud–threaten to impeded eligible voters and keep them away from the polls.
“There’s been an organized and coordinated attempt to keep certain groups of voters out of the process — people of color, low-income people, especially,” Jerry Greenfield, (Jerry of Ben & Jerry’s), told The Huffington Post in an interview last week.
“Instead of expanding voting and making the United States as democratic as it can be — setting an example for the rest of the world — there has been this effort to prevent people from voting when there’s been no evidence there’s any kind of problem with voting or voting fraud. It’s absurd,” said Greenfield.
Last month, a federal judge upheld a North Carolina law that requires photo I.D. at the polls. Such laws, which were passed after the election of President Obama, make it harder for minorities, the elderly and students to vote because they disproportionately lack the required form of identification.
These laws seem to specifically target Obama supporters and those who vote along those party lines.
Additionally, North Carolina’s law prohibits people from registering and voting on the same day, reduced the number of early voting days, disqualifies ballots cast in the wrong precinct and disallows pre-registering teens before their 18th birthday.
The campaign is centered in North Carolina but is national in scope.
“The reason Ben & Jerry’s chose North Carolina is there’s a lot of activity in terms of voter rights and overcoming voter suppression efforts there,” Greenfield told HuffPost. “There’s also a real history of civil right struggle in North Carolina. For us, it’s about the groups doing work there.”
Ben & Jerry are passionate about democracy and have chosen ice cream as their mode of expression.
“Sometimes when we’re passionate about something, we express it through ice cream. It’s our own special way of showing how much we care—we put all that passion and energy into creating a new concoction of creamy, chunky goodness churned for a cause,” Ben & Jerry said in a statement on their website.
“Empower Mint” is a creamy, mint flavored ice cream with swirls of fudge and big chewy chunks of brownie.
The ice cream conglomerate has teamed up with and will be donating proceeds from “Empower Mint” to the North Carolina NAACP which is an organization dedicated to ensuring the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights of all persons and eliminating racial hatred and discrimination.