Monday, February 06, 2012

When A Liar Lies About A Lie, Is It The Truth? No!

by Dick Mac

The charity known as the Susan G Komen For The Cure foundation is a political organization. Many charities are political organizations. The Ku Klux Klan was founded as a charitable organization.

The woman who runs Komen and most benefits from its success is Nancy G. Brinker, a Republican large donor and heavy-hitter.

Last December, Komen and Brinker made a calculated political move, and joined with other conservative (right-wing) organizations in a concerted effort to defund and destroy Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood is a family-planning organization that provides everything from health education, sex education and birth control assistance to breast cancer screening and abortions. Planned Parenthood was founded in Brooklyn, NY, in 1916 by a small group of women, led by Margaret Sanger. It is a reputable, well-respected, important federation of clinics that is supported by the majority of Americans.

Planned Parenthood is the focus of a campaign by the right-wing who want its doors shuttered and will stop at nothing to destroy the organization. This group is very small, and they raise money from few but wealthy supporters.

Komen raises their millions with charitable events and sales of pink items. Buy Pink is one of their slogans, and millions of women from every walk of life don their sneakers and trainers and walk millions of miles to collect money you and I pledge to them.

Komen then distributes that money among other charitable organizations (clinics, hosptials, researchers, etc.) working to prevent and find a cure for breast cancer.

Komen provided Planned Parenthood with just over half-a-million dollars a year to fund breast cancer screening (mammograms) to women who could not afford the test. This donation perfectly illustrated the charity's published mission statement to help prevent and find a cure for breast cancer.

Last December, Komen joined the list of right-wing organizations working in concert to prevent women from having access to reproductive health care services (including breast cancer and abortion), and quietly severed their relationship with Planned Parenthood. They adopted a new rule that no funds would be provided to any organization under investigation.

This grossly vague criterion was used to sever Komen's relationship with Planned Parenthood; but no other grant recipient was affected. That is: Komen didn't even bother to find out if any other beneficiary of its largess might be under investigation.

Komen passed this rule to hurt Planned Parenthood, and when the relationship was severed, they moved on with their real work: selling little pink t-shirts at thirty-five dollars a pop.

The removal of this funding perfectly illustrates Komen's unwritten political mission to wipe-out middle-class, working class, and impoverished-class access to birth control, abortion, and other reproductive health care services.

Just as Saint Ronald Reagan made the destruction of reproductive health care services part of his life's mission, all right-wingers have embraced this goal. Komen, however, unlike most right-wingers, was in a position to actually effect change.

When their decision to sever their relationship with Planned Parenthood became public, Komen was blind-sided by the public backlash. Americans from every economic group were flabbergasted by the blatant political move by such a lovely little pink-colored charity. Even conservative women I know were shocked by it.

You see, many conservatives object to abortion, so they would never have one; but conservatives do not universally embrace the outlawing of, and the restriction of, the medical procedure that offends so many.

In fact, actual conservatives generally see abortion as an issue of personal choice and would never use the government to limit a woman's access to the services provided by Planned Parenthood. Even if they would personally never use those services themselves.

Fake conservatives, the Reaganholics and libertarians, see the emotionalism of abortion as a tool for whipping-up support for their actual mission: stop the flow of money down to those who work for a living (the poor) and push the money to people at the top (the rich). Those people aren't really conservatives.

When Komen's actions became public and the defecation hit the ventilation, Brinker and the other leaders held their ground. They repackaged their lies in a video message to supporters on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, as well as interviews with broadcast outlets.

The failure of this spin cycle is remarkable.

Not only did Komen president Nancy Brinker come off as an insincere, lying, stepford version of Michelle Bachmann (is that redundant?), even more Americans turned away from the foundation.

In the three days after news of the politically-motivated decision hit the airwaves, supporters of Planned Parenthood donated over three million dollars to re-fund the half-million dollars Komen was taking away. Politicians across the land (and even in Washington) decried the move as wrong. Some employees of Komen resigned in protest, and staff of regional Komen offices refused to go-along with Brinker's politically-motivated decision, promising to continue funding mamograms at local Planned Parenthood clinics.

Women across the social, political, and economic spectra voiced shock and resolved to stop buying pink and raising money to support Komen.

In an attempt to stop the bleeding and recover from such a public relations disaster, Brinker and the remaining leadership of Komen regrouped, announced they would reverse their decision, and issued a press release excusing themselves:
DALLAS - February 3, 2012 - We want to apologize to the American public for recent decisions that cast doubt upon our commitment to our mission of saving women’s lives. The events of this week have been deeply unsettling for our supporters, partners and friends and all of us at Susan G. Komen. We have been distressed at the presumption that the changes made to our funding criteria were done for political reasons or to specifically penalize Planned Parenthood. They were not. . . .

I don't think many people believe this.

I think it's pretty clear to most Americans (including conservatives who might agree with Brinker) that this was a politically-motivated, tactical decision that failed.

There are other charitable organizations working to prevent, cure, and eliminate breast cancer. These other organizations might be as conservative and right-wing as Komen and Brinker; but they have not been caught using their endowment to further a political agenda.

I urge all people to cease all support for Komen, and find another breast cancer awareness organization to support. Perhaps you might consider donating to the oldest, most prestigious organization addressing women's health care issues: Donate to Planned Parenthood

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