Anti-settler settlers: Ben and Jerry’s Hypocrisy

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By Lev Tsitrin

Hypocrisy is a fascinating phenomenon.  When Democratic congresswoman Cori Bush tweeted that “This land is stolen land and Black people still aren’t free,” I expected this woman of honesty, honor, and integrity to immediately turn her back in disgust on the prospect of continuing to live on “stolen land” and to go to her ancestral home across the Atlantic.  Not only would her conscience be cleared of the stain of living on stolen land, but as a Black person, she would finally be free.

Yet I have not read or heard that Cori Bush is gone from the stolen land in which she isn’t free — she seems to continue sitting in Congress and collecting her salary, enjoying the benefits of the stolen land to the utmost, and swallowing her pride of being not free.  Did she hit a delay in getting a passport?  Or is she not even planning to go, being just a demagogue and a lying hypocrite, rather than a lady of high principle and integrity I thought she was, given her membership in Congress, this place of the principled and the upright?

Or how about another highly principled activist, Anuradha Mittal, the chairman of Ben and Jerry’s board, who agitated for boycott of Israel and finally got B&J to stop sales in Jewish settlements?  Curious of who she was, I googled her bio — and though not much came about, the cached information from an apparently offline server disclosed the shocking fact that she is a settler herself: “Anuradha Mittal (born March 12, 1967), Indian policy analyst … Mittal, Anuradha was born on May 12, 1967 in Meerut, India.  Came to the United States, 1994.  Education.  Bachelor of Political Science with honors, University …”  (This entry from Prabook was taken down and is no longer available.)

If she were not a settler-colonialist, she would have stayed in “Meerut, India” for the rest of her days and would never have come to the U.S.  But in common with those who through the ages left their homelands to come to settle in America (or as they themselves would have likely said, “to pursue happiness”), Anuradha Mittal left her native country and came to these shores.  That’s settler-colonialism at its purest if there ever was one.  For that matter, even Ben and Jerry don’t look particularly native — they are just two white Jewish guys, and therefore settler-colonialists (or descendants thereof), too.  So is every other member of B&J’s board, I am sure — even those we call “natives” came from Asia via a frozen-over Bering Strait.  Some came on boats, others on planes, yet others on foot (that is happening even today, to judge by what goes on at the southern border) — but no matter the mode of transportation, everyone here in America is a settler-colonialist, or a descendant.

Without seeing an obvious contradiction in terms, someone even described Anuradha Mittal as an “Indian-American Anti-Globalization Activist” (obviously, the term “Indian-American” connotes “Globalization,” not “Anti-Globalization”).  Yet again, if she were such, why is she in the U.S. and not in Meerut, India?

And why does she, a globalizing settler-colonialist, egg on her fellow settler-colonialists on the B&J board to condemn Israelis for “settler-colonialism”?  Unlike Mittal, Israelis claim only the land that was once their own, but was settler-colonized by the Arabs during the Arab conquests that followed Mohammed’s death, in which they gobbled half of the then known world.

Basic decency suggests that one should follow what one preaches.  Needless to say, people like Cori Bush and Anuradha Mittal have no decency at all.  They are all about demagoguery, they are all about hypocrisy — and they are full of self-confidence that they are so smart that no one will notice.  “Masses are asses,” they say, and the Cori Bushes and the Anuradha Mittals take full advantage of this basic sociological fact.  And yet, not everyone is stupid.  Dumb as we are, we do notice hypocrisy and lies — including yours, Cori Bush, and yours, Anuradha Mittal.

 

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