The Susan G. Komen Foundation Thinks You're Stupid

It's an unpleasant truth, I know. But based on the recent statements coming from their leaders and affiliates, there is no other conclusion to be had. Nothing illustrates the organization's deep-seated hubris better than this snarkalicious Facebook comment from one Cheryl Roberts:
We want to apologize to the American public for recent decisions that resulted in completely unexpected scrutiny of our CEO's unconscionably high salary, obscenely high overhead to actual good ratio, longstanding links to Republican politicians, huge budget for taking oppressive legal actions against other charities that dare use the word 'cure,' vast marketing and lobbying budgets, and long-standing history of secretly lobbying against federal assistance to women with breast cancer. Based upon the last ten years, we truly had no idea that we couldn't do whatever the hell we wanted with gullible contributors' money. We thought that the corpse of our CEO's sister was an impenetrable shield that protected all of our actions from scrutiny or accountability. We appreciate your support while we try to figure out WTF has changed.

However, although the sudden spike in scrutiny and precipitous drop in fundraising and sponsorships scared the crap out of us, we want to assure all of you that, even as we desparately attempt to salvage something out of the conflagration burning our brand to the ground, we will continue to flat-out lie to your face and generally assume you are all still such credulous imbeciles that we can shamelessly stick to obvious falsehoods or change our story from minute to minute as whim or panic dictate.

Now please stop looking into our finances, lobbying and legal activities and strong political connections with right wing politicians. Stop it right now or Susan will be angry, very angry with you. Thank you.
I think that captures it all quite nicely. They really do think the people following this fracas are dumb as posts. Let's examine the evidence.

First, they told us the change in policy regarding Planned Parenthood funding was because of an ongoing investigation. When it was pointed out that they were not cutting funding to other entities under investigation, we were told the defunding really "wasn't about that" and had more to do with the issue of pass-through grants and golly gee, the Foundation was just trying to be more efficient. When it was then pointed out that many, if not most, of the clinics relying on grants do not have mammography machines on the premises, the rationale then devolved into some claptrap about grants meeting effectiveness metrics.

In tandem with those whoppers, SGK dared to claim with a straight face that the defunding of Planned Parenthood was not a political decision. We weren't supposed to notice inconvenient facts like SGK hiring Ari Fleischer, Bush's PR man, and Karen Handel, former GOP gubernatorial candidate and avowed foe of Planned Parenthood. But hey, let's be a sport and ignore the deep and abiding right-wing bent of SGK's board members and highest officers and try to believe them for a minute. Oh wait; someone from SGK itself has put the lie to that:
But a Komen insider told HuffPost on Sunday that Karen Handel, Komen's staunchly anti-abortion vice president for public policy, was the main force behind the decision to defund Planned Parenthood and the attempt to make that decision look nonpolitical.

...“Karen Handel was the prime instigator of this effort, and she herself personally came up with investigation criteria,” the source, who requested anonymity for professional reasons, told HuffPost. “She said, ‘If we just say it’s about investigations, we can defund Planned Parenthood and no one can blame us for being political.’”
Here's another thing they would very much like you to ignore: their gross conflict of interest regarding the Foundation's goals and its funding sources. To wit:
Merck-Medco, is one of the many drug companies found in the Komen investment portfolio...The Foundation also owns stock in several pharmaceutical companies and in General Electric, one of the largest makers of mammogram machines in the world.

...Only slightly less surprising is the half-million dollars' worth of stock Nancy Brinker owns in U.S. Oncology, a chain of for-profit treatment centers.
With a portfolio like that, is it any wonder SGK opposed new guidelines advising fewer mammograms? Is it really surprising, then, that they are far more interested in researching treatments and cures than they are in prevention?

Despite all of this, we are to believe SGK's primary concern is women's health. Because we're stupid. And even in light of all of the above, Komen has yet managed to further insult their audience's intelligence by presenting themselves as the last and only hope for breast cancer there is. It's stunningly galling, don't you think? It's as though they still haven't figured out that hubris is what got them into this mess in the first place.
"We hope everyone will show up for that because that's the only way we can get money for uninsured women in the Bay Area for breast cancer services," Sousa said.

..."The irony is any donor who doesn't give us money is actually going to be doing damage to the women they're trying to help," Sousa said.
Well, Ms. Sousa, it may well be true that the race is the only way YOU can get money for uninsured women in the Bay Area. But that does not mean that supporting SGK's Race for the Cure is the only way to fund breast cancer services for Bay Area women and clinics who serve them. There is also this comment, from SGK's Facebook page:
Our supporters know that no other breast cancer organization serves women at the size and scope that Susan G. Komen for the Cure does. Screening, help through treatment, social and financial support provided by $93 million in Komen community funding to 2,000 organizations last year alone.
Well, ladies, that statement is only true because you had managed to pull the pink wool over everyone's eyes all these years. But it is now gone; people are scrutinizing your group and finding you wanting. More to the point, many, many people have become aware of the many, many alternative ways to support women's health. There are groups like the Silent Spring Institute and Dr. Susan Love's foundation. Planned Parenthood even has a cancer fund now, thanks to you.

So kindly get over yourselves already and quit trying to leave everyone with the impression that philanthropy in breast cancer research and treatment begins and ends with you. We really are not as stupid as you seem to think we are. We do, in fact, realize that as it turns out, you were little more than a highly inefficient middleman, if not a highly successful corporate PR firm.

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