Harriet McBryde Johnson: Why she kicks ass
- She was an American author, attorney, and disability rights activist, who specialized in helping people who couldn’t work get Social Security benefits.
- She was chairwoman of the Charleston County Democratic Party. She once described herself as a “disabled, liberal, atheistic Democrat”.
- She opposed the annualJerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Telethon. (Lewis told the Chicago Tribune he had no intention of making peace with opponents such as Johnson. He likened the idea of meeting with them to entertaining Hezbollah or insurgents in Iraq. Johnson described the telethon as “the charity mentality” and decried its “pity-based tactics”.)
- Harriet Johnson debated Peter Singer, challenging his belief that parents ought to be able to euthanize their disabled children. ”It’s frustrating to me that it boiled down in the popular discussion to a conflict between right-to-life and right-to-die. I don’t think that’s it at all. I think that we ought to analyze the case in terms of disability discrimination.”