In a remarkable few hours, the prestigious and well respected Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure has blown away its name, just as Joan Walsh predicted above. Women all over the country today are outraged about this decision, and it's showing up in the office, on Facebook, Twitter and on the blogs.
What were they thinking, beyond whatever politics are involved? When you've gone as solidly corporate as Susan G. Komen has, it's a bit unusual to engage in such risky behavior.
Sure, we know that Komen, based in Dallas, has become much more closely associated with the George W. Bush library (the founder and CEO, Nancy Brinker, is ex-Ambassador to Hungary), but cutting off the only source of medical and gynecologic care to women without means and health insurance is a guaranteed PR black eye.
See this from Business Week:
Yesterday afternoon, and continuing into today, I believe we are witnessing the accidental rebranding of what is surely one of America’s biggest and most well-known, and even well-loved, nonprofit brands.
Komen for the Cure, it seems, is no longer a breast cancer charity, but a pro-life breast cancer charity.
Most online comments about the Komen Foundation’s decision were downbeat, according to NetBase Solutions Inc., a Mountain View, California-based company whose software reads and interprets 50,000 sentences a minute from billions of social media sources. Two-thirds of more than 3,600 sentiments expressed online about the split were negative, with people calling it “outrageous,” and saying it did “irreparable harm” to the organization, NetBase said.See this from Eve Ellis:
It is with a heavy heart and an angry mind, that I have raised and donated my last dollar for Komen. I served on the Komen Board for 6 years, and Komen has been near and dear to me and our family in our fight against breast cancer. The stand that Komen National has taken on Planned Parenthood is not only misguided, but--contrary to their stated remarks-- is political, or at the very least, gives the impression of being political.See Huffington Post:
Dr. Kathy Plesser, a Manhattan radiologist on the medical advisory board of Susan G. Komen for the Cure's New York chapter, said she plans to resign from her position unless Komen reverses its decision to pull grant money from Planned Parenthood. "I’m a physician and my interest is women’s health, and I am disturbed by Komen’s decision because I am a very strong advocate for serving under-served women," Plesser told The Huffington Post. "Eliminating this funding will mean there’s no place for these women to go. Where are these women to go to have a mammography? Do they not deserve to have mammography?" With her decision, Plesser joins Komen's top public health official, Mollie Williams , and the executive director of Komen's Los Angeles County chapter, Deb Anthony, both of whom also resigned in protest.There are so many different places who are doing stellar coverage of this, but I have to include this from Balloon Juice:
Check out list after list after list of Komen’s corporate sponsors. Do you think New Balance, Ford and Georgia-Pacific signed on for a public fight over Planned Parenthood? When Yoplait put a pink lid on its yogurt, did they do it to make it easier to boycott their products? Because that’s what’s going to happen. Unlike most boycotts, it’s easy to figure out which products you shouldn’t buy: anything that displays a pink ribbon with the Komen name.Anyone want to make a case for good planning on Komen's part? Make your argument here, because I don't think you could have planned for this much damage in so short a period of time from a self-inflicted wound.