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Mixed-race family wants Blue Bell to change the name of its ice cream to be more inclusive

Image credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

A mixed-race family of eight wants Blue Bell Ice Cream to change the name of one of its products in order to be more "inclusive."

"The Great Divide" ice cream flavor divides chocolate and vanilla flavors with a straight line down the middle. Traci Schmidley, her husband, and their six children say the company needs a name that is less divisive.

What happened?

They reached that conclusion while eating Blue Bell during an ice cream party at their Louisiana home, Fox News reported.

“We always buy Blue Bell, and this time we chose the flavor The Great Divide, which has chocolate on one half and vanilla on the other half,” Schmidley wrote on Love What Matters, a website that shares personal stories.

After seeing the ice cream, one of Schmidley’s sons jokingly said the flavor reminds him of the Civil War, according to reports.

“The line down the middle of the carton reminded him of the Mason-Dixon line, and the name reminded him of a time in history when our nation appeared to be irrevocably divided. He looked at our table and saw a mixture of both black and white people, not divided on one side or another like in the ice cream but gathered around the table together,” Schmidley wrote.

Her son didn’t go as far as calling the name racist, but he “didn’t think the name ‘Great Divide’ was the best name for something as wonderfully unifying as Blue Bell ice cream.”

Schmidley, a teacher who homeschools her children, decided to use it as a teaching moment. She said her family is passionate about faith, education, and adoption.

“We had a lot of great discussion about how despite the division at that time in our country’s history, how our very table, located in the Deep South, was reflective of how far we have come as a people,” she wrote. “I challenged the kids to come up with a different name that could capture the intent of Blue Bell ice cream but would reflect the remarkable progress our country has made.”

Their family includes six children — two of whom were adopted from foster care — and multiple skin tones.

What name did the sons' suggest?

Two of her sons suggested the ice cream should instead be called “Better Together.”

“I thought a new name could be ‘Better Together,’ because it will make everyone happy and also in our family, everyone, no matter our color, are all better together as well. If we work together, we’re really powerful, and nothing can overcome it,” the boys wrote on Facebook.

The family was surprised by the response they received. One of their Facebook posts has received more than 25 thousand “likes” and 12 thousand shares.

“People are sending us gorgeous photos of their diverse families and communities from all over the world with #bettertogether,” Schmidley wrote.

Blue Bell ice cream sent the children a letter, Yahoo Lifestyle reported.

“They were incredibly encouraging and supportive. They loved the message and complimented the children,” Schmidley told Yahoo Lifestyle.

Is the name being changed?

Blue Bell probably won't change the name of the ice cream, though.

In a statement, Blue Bell told Fox News, “We created Great Divide so that families didn’t have to choose between two favorites but could enjoy both Homemade Vanilla and Dutch Chocolate in one container!”

One last thing…
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