For people who think racism in Harry Potter and racism in real life are actually comparable.

Today, the KKK is treated like some kind of myth. And its also treated as fodder for fiction.

As Halloween approaches, I wonder how many white people are going to don pointed hoods as costumes…and how many of them actively wear it as their creed. Because, for real, I typed “death eater” into Google search and “death eater costume” came up. It’s beyond me why anybody would want to be what a death eater represents. I barely understand why anybody would want to be a Slytherin, giving that Salazar Slytherin was, you guessed it, a flaming racist! That’s like saying “Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson are my idols” to me.

It was very triggering for me to watch Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and see these crackers dressed up in robes and pointed hoods, calling themselves death eaters. It is triggering to constantly see people using Harry Potter as a comprehensive guide and metaphor to racism and whiteness in Europe, the most racist place on the planet, and the United States.

The metaphor or analogy for racism falls apart because the main characters are white, and the majority of the characters in the book are white. It erases race, because white people can be muggle born, half-blood, or pure blood—in real life, off the page, racism does not work like that. The Black experience is not trans-racial, and its not to be co-opted by whites who are complicit in Black people’s oppression. Whites are usually the perpetrators,the instigators, and the maintainers of racism against everybody else, its well documented no matter how they try to erase it. [I’ve talked about this before here somewhere, I can feel it in my bones.] So its ridiculous to use Harry Potter as a metaphor for racism in the real world, instead of just as a starting point for clueless whites and children.

Even then, its important for white people to understand that in real life they are usually the villains, not innocent bystanders, not allies and friends, not the heroes. That’s important for children to know. Erasing centuries of white imperialism and colonialism, Rowling has, inadvertently or purposefully, created a world in which white people can escape and feel that they are the victims of racism and blood quantum, instead of the recipients of white privilege that are direct results of white terrorism. And, off the page, it just doesn’t work that way.


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