Image1
The Racial Hypocrisy Magic of JK Rowling
Thumb anonymous
June 07, 2016, 09:03 AM
A+
|
a-
Print Friendly and PDF
It's not difficult to divine where JK Rowling stands on race. A major theme of the Harry Potter series is the evil of the Nazis—or, as in the books, the wicked designs of the pure-blood-obsessed Voldemort & Co. There's even a suggestion that Voldemort is comparable to Hitler because of his mixed parentage.

There are some problems with this theme, which I'm reminded of as I read about the recent effort by Rowling to make Hermione Granger a black woman. [J.K. Rowling Endorses Black Hermione Granger in HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD, by Tara John, Time, December 21, 2015]

It's first dumb, given her insistence that only British actors portray her characters in the 7-movie series. It's bad for Draco Malfoy to call anyone a "mudblood", you see, but perfectly acceptable for Rowling to keep mudblood Americans away from her sets.

But the bigger hypocrisy is in the design of the Potter plot itself. For all the drama surrounding who's a pureblood wizard, a half-blood or muggle-born, the fact remains that one is either magical or not. (Rowling even has a category for a non-magical person born to a witch and a wizard: a squib.) Hogwarts does not admit muggles, period. Nowhere in the series is sympathy expressed for muggles who "identify" as magic, nor is there a witch or wizard who seeks to "transition" to muggle, and absolutely nobody is "part magic, part muggle."

It is fully recognized that separation of the superior sort—that is, magic people—is absolutely necessary, by way of segregated schooling (Hogwarts), segregated government (the Ministry of Magic), and segregated communities (Hogsmeade). Fundamental differences make mixed life in these areas an impossibility.

Nowhere in the series, furthermore, is there any indication that magic status is anything but an accident of birth. Yet this accident entitles the magic people not only to lives in the muggle world, if they wish, but an entire separate reality in which to frolic, complete with its own set of also-magic people, special powers and grand adventures. Talk about privilege.

And never mind who all the fans are: white, white, and just a dash of off-white.