On January 27, 2021, Logos president Helio Fred Garcia was quoted in a CNN Business article on the ice-cream company Ben & Jerry’s campaign to end qualified immunity for police officers. Ben & Jerry’s has long supported progressive political causes, which Garcia points out makes their decision to take such a direct stance on this issue unsurprising.
“Conglomerates typically try to stay off the radar screen on divisive social issues,” Garcia explained. “There’s no surprise that the Ben & Jerry’s brand is involved. What is intriguing is that their parent Unilever seems to be perfectly comfortable with that.”
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In Words on Fire, Garcia explains the pattern of how the president’s incendiary language inspires some people to commit violence against rivals, critics, and dehumanized and demonized groups. The CNN article notes how the storming of the US Capitol was part of this escalating pattern, and that the move by social media platforms to restrict or shut President Trump’s posts comes too late.
The article reads:
“In addition to lying more as he realized he could get away with it, [President Trump] also began to use more abusive language. As Helio Fred Garcia wrote in his 2020 book “Words on Fire: The Power of Incendiary Language and How to Confront It,””over time, the frequency and intensity of Trump’s language (on social media as well as in speeches and with the media) changed. Without anyone or anything to stop it … he became more aggressive and his language more directly incendiary when discrediting his political rivals.” And, predictably, Garcia noted, after Trump insulted members of different groups, hate crimes against them spiked. So, let’s be clear: This is not the first time he has incited violence.”
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