Nothing Komen for the Cure does surprises me anymore. They sell deep-fried chicken to raise money to cure breast cancer. They sue other nonprofits that use "for the cure" in any variation in their name. Now, they're flexing their muscle and shutting off the funding to Planned Parenthood.
For Komen, it's just another day being a big, arrogant SOB that has swallowed too much of its own public relations and is drunk with power and eager to show its fight.
Part of me grudgingly admires Komen. Heck, I tell nonprofits all the time they should operate more like businesses. And that's what Komen is doing. If they were a for-profit company instead of a nonprofit we'd be applauding their actions, or at least ignoring them. After all, we live in a country where success and money wash every sin clean. And Komen has plenty of soap to spare.
The challenge is that Komen is a nonprofit but their walking and talking like the Standard Oil of our time. I hope they're headed for a crash, or at least a painful breakup.
But that's not up to me. It's up to you. (I say you because I've never supported Komen and I never will. I don't even talk about their cause marketing much except to be critical of it. Yeah, I'm grinding my ax when I can.)
You gave them their swagger with your sweat, support and money. You created a monster. Not that you care. You'll turn a blind eye and find comfort in the stories of sadness, hope, womanhood, courage and success that define the Komen experience.
That's just what Komen wants. Come walk season, you'll still be wearing pink.
You need a new narrative that puts cause above Komen. A true supporter is someone who is willing to defend her cause from the people who would hurt it, even if they are within the cause. This new story needs to be about accountability and direction that speaks to the breast cancer organization you want.
If you're happy with deep fried cause marketing, brand witch hunts and punishing poor women, congratulations, you have the organization you want.
But if you want something else: wipe away your tears, dump the pink and find your angry voice and tell Komen to change their ways, or you'll change yours.