Turning on the Light in Trump’s America: Lessons We Can All Learn From Harry Potter

In the face of the new administration, many are feeling put out, discriminated against, and straight up targeted by a man who is supposed to be our nation’s leader. Early on in his campaign, many jokingly compared Trump to Lord Voldemort from the Harry Potter series. As time progressed, the comparison grew more and more shockingly accurate, through Trump’s racist and ableist comments and actions.

While many celebrities have gotten backlash for speaking out about their political opinions (which is strange, since one was just elected as President), one particular tweet stuck out to me. Last week, Jason Isaacs, who portrayed Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter movie series, spoke out at an event in Harry Potter World in Orlando regarding Trump and his immigration policies. In retaliation, a Twitter user sent Isaacs a message telling him to stick to acting, basically telling him that his work had absolutely nothing to do with the current political climate, and he should stick to talking about the wizarding world. Yet Isaacs fired back.

You see, I think Isaacs is 100% correct that the Harry Potter series gained such success because Jo Rowling’s message resonates with each and every one of us. And although the stories are about teenage wizards and their world, the true meaning is larger than that. Throughout the whole series, there are startling parallels between the issues in Wizarding London, and those that we are seeing in America currently. While no, Trump does not have a magic wand, he does think less of people who come from different backgrounds, and consider them incapable of being a part of his “Great America.” Muslims, immigrants, LGBTQ Americans, those with disabilities; so many people are scared. Scared of their leader and his followers and how they will all treat them. But there were people fighting back. Dumbledore’s Army, the Order of the Phoenix: regular people who knew that what they were seeing was wrong, and fought back for what was right. Whether it be in grand gestures like the final battle, or by Hermione’s small campaign to promote equality for the severely underrepresented House Elves.

And if you think Hermione wouldn’t have marched on January 21st, then we’re going to have to agree to disagree.

In the final battle, there were losses and setbacks. There were moments where those on the right side thought that victory would be impossible. But during that battle, wizards, House Elves, centaurs, a hippogriff, and even one Giant whose family and kind was on the other side all fought together, united against the darkness they were facing. I think we could all learn a lesson from Harry Potter’s world. The series teaches that love is the ultimate form of magic, and as long as we can love each other, then any problem can be solved together. No matter our ancestry, or ability, or economic status, if we keep believing that what we are fighting for is right, then we will ultimately be successful. Dumbledore put it best when he said,

Happiness can be found even in the darkest times if one only remembers to turn on the light.

It is our responsibility to turn on this light, and keep it burning for the next four years. Because Jason Isaacs is right. Prejudice and fear are very much real right now, and the only way we can stop it is by being courageous and fighting for love and equality and what we know in our hearts is right.




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