Certainly the Susan G. Komen Foundation has apologized today, but it appears it is a nonapology apology, as we usually see in the political arena, especially from those on the right wing. They’re sorry they got caught, but they promised to continue to fund the Planned Parenthood grant they already promised to fund, and as they are contractually obligated. Indeed (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) Komen claims they will allow Planned Parenthood the chance to apply for future grants. Gosh! Crisis over!
Let’s make sure we have this straight. Komen, the organization that has succeeded in fetishizing the color pink to such an extent that it reaps benefits from the sales of pink guns and pink shotgun shells (THAT’S healthy!), has betrayed corporate sponsors and donors by making a politically-based decision to defund Planned Parenthood under the cover of claiming they merely meant to defund organizations “under investigation.” So, did they defund Penn State? Evidently the investigations at Penn State aren’t politically motivated enough for Komen to go after that grant.
What has betraying those sponsors and donors wrought? The Susan G. Komen brand is dragging in the mud, and the reason for that is entirely on the shoulders of those at the Susan G. Komen Foundation who made the decisions to cause this crisis. The pink ribbon is very dirty now. Who is hurt? Certainly the women Komen could have helped, whether through screenings or cancer research, are harmed by the decisions of the executives and board of the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Those who donated to Komen, whether through corporate sponsorship or through participating in a “Race for the Cure,” (this expensive litigation by Komen does NOTHING towards a “cure.“)are also harmed, because they will never know now whether the funds they donated will be subject to political maneuverings. That’s the real problem here.
So, what’s the “Cure” that will save the Susan G. Komen Foundation? Get rid of the incompetents. It seems obvious now, based on this investigative piece in The Atlantic, that the President of the Susan B. Komen Foundation, Elizabeth Thompson, and the Vice President, Karen Handel, are directly responsible for this crisis and for the severe damage to the Susan G. Komen brand. That’s serious incompetence.
People donate to an nonprofit organization because of trust that the organization will do good, not based on political reasons, but based on the best science out there. Elizabeth Thompson and Karen Handel have damaged the Komen brand to such an extent it is hard to grasp whether Komen will ever recover the trust that they will follow such a standard of nonpartisanship. They have created more harm than ever has been created within the Komen organization, and demonstrably, more harm than has hit any major nonprofit in the United States. I can only recall one controversy as large to hit a major nonprofit in the US in my lifetime, and that was when the American Red Cross suffered distrust over their stewardship of the blood supply back in the 1990’s. How did the Red Cross handle that crisis? They cleaned house at the top. That’s what the Susan G. Komen Foundation needs to do. Elizabeth Thompson and Karen Handel need to go, as they were intimately involved in directing this decision, which is threatening to completely destroy the Komen brand. And Nancy Brinker, who is listening to her PR folks waaaaaay too much, needs to stand up and assure the donors to the Komen Foundation that politics will never get in the way of fighting breast cancer ever again. Ever again. Cancer does not work along political lines, and neither should fighting cancer.
Fat chance any of that will happen. So redirect your dollars, folks. The American Cancer Society does good work, as does Planned Parenthood, in protecting women’s lives, and there’s not any political agenda within either of those groups besides the protection of women’s lives.