"Trump is Voldemort." "Mike Pence is Umbridge." "I'm a Hufflepuff but I'm still cool! I don't let people walk all over me!" Ma'am, this is a Burger King.
J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series is predictably a huge part of Millenial and Generation Z culture since the first book was published in 1997. The books and the movies will no doubt have a lasting impact on the world for generations to come.
Building a massive fantasy world and creating its lore and characters is a daunting task that requires great skill and imagination. Credit where credit is due, good for you J.K. Rowling.
However, a lot of people believe liking the books and movies is a good replacement for their own lack of imagination.
You shouldn't expect anyone to know any more about you by telling them which house you believe you'd be sorted into. Being a Gryffindor because you took the Buzzfeed quiz really doesn't tell me anything about you.
I get liking things, I also like things. I really do not want to spend too much time demonizing people that like things, but I would like to point out that Harry Potter is… ruining political discourse in this country.
It is okay to love a series as a young adult, but there is a problem with using said series as the basis for all of your moral and political arguments.
This mainly is a message to people that compare Trump to Lord Voldemort, and to be fair, both have in fact weaponized bigotry to make political gains.
However, marginalized groups have been suffering the effects of the Trump presidency while the Death Eaters remain exclusively in the pages of fiction.
Telling an immigrant or an LGBT community member that Trump is synonymous with a fictitious wizard man with no nose… that may be why Harry Potter is mostly just for white people. Groups that don't have to deal with the real threat of a far-right government can play in a fantasy world.
And if you are going to base your politics off a fictional series, it certainly shouldn't be one with problematic politics like Harry Potter.
The protagonist is born to defeat Voldemort, he is the boy who lived making him a "chosen one." This is problematic because it shows that a superior specimen was needed to defeat Voldemort, someone who was advocating for ethnic cleansing of all wizards not born of wizard parents (they're called Mudbloods in the books.)
Wouldn't it be more of a poignant story if Harry was himself a Mudblood? No, his parents were incredibly privileged and left him a huge inheritance. This is just nitpicking but the left is supposed to fight inherited wealth.
The original Star Wars is problematic for the same reason. The fascist empire isn't defeated until someone with special powers shows up to save the day.
These stories suggest that only a special, unique person can fight fascism and save oppressed groups. The truth, however, is that fascism is ended when the oppressed groups themselves rise up.
It's easy to see why Rowling wrote a book with terrible politics. Her own politics are awful.
Rowling could make a career out of turning her characters into minorities because "diversity is in." We all know about the Dumbledore is gay controversy, and Rowling recently tried to run the "Hermione was black" up the flagpole when most people associate Hermione with the film portrayal with the talented and white Emma Watson.
Rowling also said there was totally "at least one Jewish kid at Hogwarts."
This is not being inclusive, this is a cynical attempt by Rowling to turn her series into something inclusive when it isn't. There was no benefit to making a bunch of gay and black characters in the late 90s. However, now that it is politically safe to do so, Rowling is trying to cash in on those markets.
Rowling could have been a huge leader in the normalization of diversity in fiction, but unfortunately, she chose the safe route. That would be forgivable if she was not masquerading as a progressive icon.
J.K. Rowling's views on real-life politics are also disturbing. Her militant opposition to Jeremy Corbyn's Labor platform is perplexing, why is Rowling so staunchly opposed to helping poor people? Could it be that she cares more about protecting her assets with economic conservatism than helping oppressed groups with social progressivism? Curious.