I didn’t know this. It appears that J.K. Rowling is a huge racist, just look at her books. A bunch of white kids save their mostly white school from a bunch of bad guys. Wait, you say that isn’t enough to call her a racist? You need more? Well, how about a nice poem about how racist she is…
She gives a pretty compelling argument, I’m ready to light up a torch and grab the pitchfork myself.
But, before we do, let’s take a step back and look at the world of Harry Potter. One of the first things that she talks about is how there are so few brown people attending Hogwarts. Harry Potter attended Hogwarts in the 90s, so let’s take a look at some census data. I was able to find the 2001 UK census, it’s from just after Harry would have graduated, so I’m going to say that it’s still good. It puts the total of white people in the UK at 92.14%.
Each of these tables holds about 70 students (counting thanks to the nice people at Beyond Hogwarts). J.K. Rowling herself put the number of students at 1000, but that just a number she put out when asked by one of her fans, stating that it may be a little off. Since we rarely hear about more than a handful of teachers, the lower number shown in the movie is probably more accurate. Now, applying the numbers from the census to the 70 students sitting at that table, we find that 64 of them are going to be some form of Caucasian, when looking at the numbers for any Asians, we find that there would be .5 Asians at each table, or, more likely, one on every other table. There would be one black student per table, with one table getting two. About the same for students from India. You may have four of five students at each table that aren’t white. I should add that these are the numbers for all grades, not just Harry’s class. There is only an 8% chance of there being a minority in each class, with about ten students per class per house. Gryffindor would get less than one minority student per class. Knowing that, how likely is it that Harry’s close friends would be Asian?
Rowling made the racial make up of the students in Hogwarts come pretty close to matching the census data. How is that racist? Should Hogwarts have been filled with Chinese students then? Would that have made Rachel happy?
Next she wants to complain about the name. Cho Chang gets two last names, and they aren’t even Chinese. So what. Maybe her family moved from Korea to China before they came to the UK. As to the two last names, maybe she knew a girl that went by Cho, not realizing that it was a last name. Maybe it was an honest mistake. Does it really matter though? This is a problem that writers tend to have. If you don’t put any minority characters in, you’re a racist. If you do put them in, but screw something up regarding their culture, even though it has nothing to do with the actual plot, then you’re a racist. If you put in a minority character, and you research their culture a lot and try to depict it as accurately as you can, then you are just reinforcing a stereotype, and again, are a racist.
You can’t win. Rowling even made the evils of racism a major point of her books. Remember all the talk of true bloods and mud bloods? Yeah, that was racism in the wizarding world, and it was something that the main characters fought against pretty much the entire book. But that doesn’t matter since she didn’t properly research the name for a minor love interest of Harry’s.
No matter what you do, someone who is looking for it, will find a reason to call you racist. It’s a lost cause, so instead of worrying about people like Rachel Rostad that are just out to ruin everybody’s fun, just read the books and enjoy them.
And to Rachel, I’m sorry if your man left you and it made you want to cry. I would like to point out that crying over a break up isn’t specifically a Chinese thing, in fact, Taylor Swift has made quite a bit of money crying over breaks ups, and I’m pretty sure that she isn’t Asian.