|"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
|"The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
In addition to pulling funds from Planned Parenthood for The Susan G. Komen Foundation also decided to stop funding embryonic stem cell research centers making it fully transparent the organization has evolved from non-political non-profit to a partisan advocacy organization.
That means the loss of $3.75 million to the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, $4.5 million to the University of Kansas Medical Center, $1 million to the U.S. National Cancer Institute, $1 million to the Society for Women’s Health Research, and $600,000 to Yale University. That’s a loss of nearly $12 million dollars in research money to eradicate breast cancer this year alone.
This is a new position for the organization which had previously supported all sorts of scientific research targeted at finding a cure for breast cancer and saving women’s lives. It’s new position is that the organization will categorically no longer support any embryonic stem cell research.
Instead of the loud, clumsy announcement Komen made in severing ties with Planned Parenthood, this is a decision they quietly slipped in during November 2011. After all, with this new pro-life branding you would think the Susan G. Komen Foundation would want to crow about it’s policy change since embryonic stem cell research is an issue near and dear to the anti-choice crowd Komen now serves.
Maybe it’s because there won’t be any gory anti-stem cell research ad running during the Super Bowl this Sunday like Randall Terry’s anti-abortion ad. After all, Karen Handel has made it clear she and Terry share an agenda, and the Komen Foundation has under Handel’s watch closely allied itself with Americans United For Life, the zealously anti-choice group that takes credit for pushing Komen directly and through members of Congress, to sever ties with Planned Parenthood.
I hesitated to write on this topic, partly because I had so many blogs turn pink for me in 2010. They did it as a show of support and I appreciated it more than anyone will ever know. However, turning pink in support and following up with virtual and local assistance is not the same thing as the pink-washing that Komen does day in and day out.
I spent a good portion of the last year mortified about the type of cancer I had. I received a pink basket in the hospital (for my original surgery) filled with pink, plastic items that included a poem and a "tiddy" bear. I was supposed to be cheered up by the poem, as it was about another woman and how she received a fabulous new set of breasts. I was also supposed to be thrilled by the junk in the basket. Instead I was mortified. A gift basket of organic fruit would be one thing (and, yes, we did receive those and loved them), but this was just beyond painful. Rubbing the pink-washing in my face once again. The basket just reminded me that because I had this recent blip, I was supposed to become a member of another club. Well, no, thank you.
Please understand that not everything pink disturbs me and I know that many pink ribbons are truly meant as a sign of support. However, Komen is not supportive. Coloring buckets of fried chicken pink is not supportive. Putting pink ribbons on products that we don't need or want is not supportive. In fact, for many of us, it's a reminder of times we'd rather forget. If anything, Komen was extremely unsupportive when I was diagnosed.
Did they come to my house and cook me meals when I was sick? No, but my friends ensured we were had groceries and dinners for months. Did they visit me in the hospital or take care of my kids? No, but my friends and family made sure that happened. Well, what did they do?
They stepped up their efforts to get money from me. It was almost as if my name was on a new high priority list. As though because I had been diagnosed, I suddenly had the ability and desire to give to an organization that, in my opinion, has done little towards their supposed goal. It took three letters from me and three phone calls from Peter to have my name removed from their mailing list.