Sunday, January 15, 2006

Kuhn, Maggie

Maggie Kuhn founded the Gray Panthers when she reached age 65, and has served as National Convener of that Organization since 1970. Her motive in taking this leadership role grew out of her sense of injustice about America's treatment of the elderly, a sense that took strength from her own forced retirement from a post with the Presbyterian Church after 25 years of service. Quoted in Parade magazine, Kuhn insists that:
old people should not be treated as wrinkled
babies .... Old Folks have plenty to offer this country if only they are given half the chance .... America is caught up in the Detroit Syndrome, and we scrap-pile our old people like worn out car hulks ....
In an another interview with Parade, Kuhn remarked, "Our society is Ageist ... ageism goes both ways-hurting both the young and the old-depriving both groups of the right to control their lives."
Quoted in Harris, D. K., and Cole, W. E. Sociology of Aging. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1980.

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