Pardon my nonchalance, but I wasn’t surprised or dismayed to find a political agenda behind the workings of recent Susan G. Komen For the Cure activities. All corporations have political agendas, even on non-profit charitable corporations. Or rather, especially non-profit charitable corporations. These are the guys we have to be leery of, the wolves in sheep’s clothing.
When Lowes, McDonald’s, and Bank of America pulled advertisements from All American-Muslim because conservative family values organizations started foaming at the mouth that Islamic propaganda was breaking its way into our homes via TLC, people were incensed. Or at least some were; and they were incensed enough to call for a boycott from these corporations for the holiday season. But why stop there? Until we are willing to put our money where our
mouth heart is or to stop funneling money into places that employ practices that make us feel uncomfortable, then temporary boycotts will be met with temporary quick fixes.
When corporations hide under the guide of a 403(b) status and pursue their political agendas and bottom lines, do we hold them accountable? Is it even possible to hold them accountable when they’re as powerful and wealthy as Komen? Yes. But I’m of the opinion that this (reversing it’s decision) is a quick fix, especially since Komen isn’t promising to renew grants to Planned Parenthood in the future.
Every decision Komen or Planned Parenthood makes isn’t going to land on my side of the issue divide, but if either entity makes decisions completely averse to their stated missions then it’s our responsibility to ask questions and demand answers; not apologies. When a corporate charity tasked to provide funding for breast cancer research, education and prevention pulls its financial support to an organization that purposefully serves women at risk for not detecting breast cancer because they can’t afford preventive care, then we need to wonder why.
Especially if you’ve joined the Race for the Cure, logged any number of miles, or if you’ve sponsored a team and spent a single dime. Or if you’ve bought the pink lids on Yoplait cups or if you’ve purchased any paraphernalia with the pink ribbon that has become synonymous with love for survivors and/or love for those you’ve lost. Komen has a monopoly on both the pink ribbon and finding the breast cancer cure. For this reason, they aren’t allowed to back away from its commitment to increase early detection. Because according to them, early detection is the single most important factor in saving lives. And if there’s a segment of the population who can’t afford proper healthcare and their needs are serviced at Planed Parenthood for a fraction of the cost elsewhere, then Komen can’t decide that poor women should no longer have access to early detection methods.
Even if Komen doesn’t like Planned Parenthood’s other agenda, the fact that it stands as a center for under/uninsured patients to receive quality reproductive healthcare is irrefutable. The good work of Planned Parenthood doesn’t come undone because perform abortions, which means that mammograms has nothing to do with abstinence only programs or pro-life policies. Pretend for a moment that I hate Starbucks, hate everything it stands for with it’s $4 12-oz coffees. I hate it so much that instead of just boycotting the standalone coffee shops, I also decide I can’t take my business to Barnes and Noble, Whole Foods, or Target. It makes no difference to me that these corporations are in business to sell books, grocery, and everything under the sun. I can’t see past the fact that they also let Starbucks have a tiny corner of the storefront. I hate Starbucks so much that I refuse to see what BN, WF, and Target are really about. Which, as you know, isn’t really about selling expensive coffee.
I know this isn’t the best analogy. But they’re both examples of cutting off your nose to spite your face. And when is that ever been a good idea? Yep. You guessed it. Never. Because in the end, you have a noseless face. Or in Komen’s case, what we have are people who care about breast cancer, except they no longer trust Komen to care about protecting them breast cancer.
Lett’s not take this flip flopping lightly. Let’s find out where the money comes from, where it goes, and how it’s being spent. Let’s find out who pays Komen’s operating budget and who calls the shots. Let’s find out who pulls the purse strings in every organization, charity, or corporation that we support. Let’s wield influence in the only language that makes sense to them — with money.