Thursday, July 28, 2005

Stamp Of Approval

The USPS recently released its new "Fund the Cure" stamp (left), featuring women of color, to help fund breast cancer research. The stamp was designed by Ethel Kessler of Bethesda, Maryland, the same artist who designed the breast cancer stamp of 1998 which has already raised more than $50 million for breast cancer research. 600 million stamps sold! In that design (right), Diana, the huntress and goddess of fertility, reaches behind her head to pull an arrow from her quiver to fend off an enemy, in this case, breast cancer. The image reflects the same position that a woman assumes for a breast self-exam and mammography. "Fund the Fight; Find a Cure."

In the new release, featuring women of color, I was immediately reminded of photos I saw just yesterday of women in Darfur who are fighting rape and genocide (and breast cancer?) every day. When I saw the photos, like these below, I was stunned by the bright colors midst the poverty and dire circumstances of their situation. It was a visual oxymoron!

You don't want to get me started on Darfur again (see 6/3 post)! Here are a few journalistic stats from Nicholas Kristof's op-ed article Tuesday in the NY Times:

  • The manhandling of journalists accompanying Condi Rice to Darfur recently got more coverage than any massacre thus far.
  • The American news media haven't covered the Darfur genocide as well as they covered the Armenian genocide in 1915. They're much more interested in what Tom Cruise says right now.
  • Newsweeklies should be embarrassed that better magazine coverage of Darfur has often been in Christianity Today.
  • ABC News had a total of 18 minutes of the Darfur genocide in its nightly newscasts all last year; NBC had only 5 minutes of coverage all last year, and CBS only 3 minutes - about a minute of coverage for every 100,000 deaths. In contrast, Martha Stewart received 130 minutes of coverage by the three networks.
  • Last month, CNN, Fox News, NBC, MSNBC, ABC and CBS collectively ran 55 times as many stories about Michael Jackson as they ran about genocide in Darfur.
  • MtvU (the MTV channel aimed at universities) has covered Darfur more seriously than any network or cable station.

Kristof ends his piece by saying "So while we have every right to criticize Mr. Bush for his passivity, I hope that he criticizes us back. We've behaved as disgracefully as he has."

The "bright side" of both breast cancer and Darfur? Incredible, vivid COLOR. What is it with these women?! Buy the stamps and pray for our sisters in Darfur.

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