Pinkwash

The Facebook thread was incredulous.  Several people were completely convinced it was a joke.  How could a group fighting breast cancer be taking money from a company which sells fracking fluids and services (an activity believed to cause cancer)?

But not only is it not a joke, it has been going on for a couple years now and until recently no one was paying attention.  The Susan G. Komen Foundation is this nations largest breast cancer fighting organization.  They have been happily taking $100K per year from oil extraction company Baker Hughes.

understandably unbelievable

understandably unbelievable

But for those who have been tracking the Komen Foundation’s political evolution, this should be no surprise.  In 2012, Komen chose to stop funding Planned Parenthood (PP), because they were “under investigation.” This was a thin rouse, which was quickly revealed for what it was, an effort by the conservative leadership of Komen to strike at PP because it provides abortion services.  The investigation consisted of trumped up charges by similarly motivated House Republicans, and it went nowhere.

fashionable corporate giving

fashionable corporate giving

But Komen’s plans to defund PP exploded in their face in a stunning way.  Individual contributions to Komen dropped dramatically.  In the fiscal year in which they made this mistake they lost $77 million over the previous year’s funding, representing 22% of their total income.  Komen reversed its choice to defund PP after only 3 days, but the damage was already done.

Fierce Backlash

Fierce Backlash

There are other problems with Komen.  Specifically, only 20% of the donations they receive go to breast cancer research.  Over 50% go to educational programs.  If you know the non-profit world, it is far easier to hide bloated salaries and bogus programming under the “education” category than under research.  And many critics think research is more important than education at this point.

And thus we add “Pinkwash” to our vocabulary.  As Baker Hughes produces 1,000 pink drill bits to promote their campaign,  there is now a petition to get Komen to reverse their choice, as they did so quickly with their PP foolishness.

Perhaps Komen has outlived its usefulness or is unreformable as an organization, and like Monsanto and Siemens nuclear division, it is time for it to die.

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About paxus

a funologist, memeticist and revolutionary. Can be found in the vanity bin of Wikipedia and in locations of imminent calamity. buckle up, there is going to be some rough sledding.

2 responses to “Pinkwash”

  1. Will says :

    Pax, what is the basis for this?

    “fracking (an activity known to cause cancer)”

    I’m no fan of fracking, but has anyone even looked at whether it might cause cancer? I seriously doubt anyone has been in a position to study the question.

    • paxus says :

      SO what i have seen in several stories on this is that 25% of the chemicals in fracking fluid are carcenogenic. [Along with other simple claims that it does cause cancer] But perhaps more research is needed to be done here

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