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Did you know Harry Potter was racist

harry potter is racist 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%.

Harry Potter is Racist 02

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.

  • Harry potter is an asshole

    • objective guy

      hey look! a twilight fan. come on girl, is harry potter story not delusional enough for you

  • This is just another example of someone looking for something to complain about. Isn’t there enough truly wrong in the world (just look at last week) that we don’t need to invent hatred where it doesn’t exist? Rachel should suck on a chocolate frog and shut the hell up. :)

  • Jason Wagner

    Eh, sounds more like coincidence to me. I really don’t see any racism here, then again – I’m pretty mellow to this sort of stuff, as in – I’m not easily offended by others, so maybe that’s it.

  • Quite frankly does it really matter in the great scheme of things. I don;t think so!

  • I don’t know the Harry Potter stories well enough – having only seen a few movies rather than read the books. It does seem that white people predominate – but as the blog post points out, this is probably representative of England at that time. And Harry does battle against discrimination of all sorts – so I’d say that accusations of racism might be misplaced.

  • Mac

    people in England – mainly white
    Harry Potter (lives in England) – white
    Bad guys in the books – mainly white
    Good guys in the books – mainly white

    starting to follow the pattern?

    • objective guy

      I see patterns in novels better than you buddy and your argument does not stand.

      • Lola Guin

        Uh, yeah it does. Is a Chinese author supposed to write about other cultures? Or do they write what they know? Does a Israeli author write about other cultures? Or do they write what they know? It’s YOUR argument that doesn’t hold water. JK Rowling doesn’t owe you PERFECT representation. She’s writing HER story, not YOURS. If you want a U.N. convention for a story, write it yourself. Writing what you know is in NO way racism.

  • my gf was saying the same thing three days ago…

  • I think a bit of an effort at inclusion is simple, easy, and good for society. I am unclear that a failure to be inclusive is racist.

  • Not sure how I actually feel about it since I do not really follow Harry Potter. But she did mention the roles of Chinese women in other movies. If it something that is offensive then why say “yes” to the role. oh wait, take the money first then bitch! I got it now.

  • objective guy

    Listen to me carefully with an open mind. There is racism in harry potter, but J.K Rowling does not encourage or propagate racism.. if you criticise Rowling for racism, do you also criticize Sephenie meyer for being anti- feminist or even anti-human? do you see that Stephenie meyer’s book is actually the worst case of Mary Sue that got published in years? no you do not. I have read 198 novels, so I can objectively say that Twilight makes Harry Potter look like a masterpiece..but people blindly love twilight, why? because they each are still under the delusion cast by a Mary Sue story. if you are a girl reading this, you probably are angry but the thing is I envy you, I envy someone who can actually get addicted to crap novel. After a lot of novels,I see the stupidity in novels quite easily and i cannot enjoy them anymore.

    • Pipiripatipitu

      Dude, I’d tell you to get a life but you don’t even have an existence. You are literally the biggest stereotype of a geek imaginable. Go outside and feel the sunlight, for your own good. Right now you are on the path to failure. If you don’t change your ways soon, you will forever be a twerp who spends his days reading books, all alone, and then going on the internet and bragging about it. You will do your best to delude yourself into thinking you are better than other people, worse, that other people are beneath you, that it is worth judging them over trivial nonsense, and that you are an intellectual, when really you are just a dork. You will somehow convince yourself that you have something, anything to be proud of, and if someone were to ever open the door to that basement, a single, feeble ray of light would hit your pale, greasy skin, and you would shriek like a vampire and retreat further into the shadows. But that will never happen. As much as you wish it would, as much as you hope, it won’t. That door will forever remain locked, and you will forever remain a total loser sneering at others from behind a keyboard, aware that the rest of humanity is going to parties and having sex, unlike you. You will never have sex. Instead you will read and brag, and cry. Yes, you will cry, because your search for a sense of worth has reached such a level of desperation, that you now look down upon the very things that once provided you with comfort from being cold and alone. No life, no joy, just the internet. And novels.

      Thank you, that is all. Best wishes to you.

  • EJ

    :s you’re talking complete rubbish. England/Wales is mostly made up of white people – it wouldn’t make any sense for there to be an equal number of multiple ethnicities in the books/films because that wouldn’t be representative of the true picture of the UK. There are however a few people of different ethnicities in the books, pretty sure one of the recurring characters is mixed race, so why make a big deal out of nothing? Would you go to India and complain that their films were racist to white people because they involved mostly asians? No of course not. Sad person.

  • Aliece Fatin

    One should also remember, though, that these books started in her childhood. It’s not like she grew up in georgia with a black person around every corner. The book was also a very personal thing for her. It is not racist to admit your closest friends and sources of inspiration (herself even) are not as varied as most people would like. It’s not like J.K. Rowling didn’t realize this later in life. That is why she did start to ease a more diversified cast of characters in later. Of course she put thought into creating cho chang. She wanted to give an Asian some spotlight after realisign her exclusion. She wanted her to be a real role model. Smart and responsible. The two most respected groups are ravenclaw and griffindor and lets face it griffindor is full of a bunch of trouble makers. I see no crime but i do see a heartbroken girl who feels like nothing but a minority who doesn’t just want but needs a strong role model in her life and in the media.

  • Adjoa “Adjo” Baah

    Why does everyone think Cho is Chinese. The books never said that in the first place.

    • I never realized this. Did a little bit of googling, and your right, she’s only mentioned as being Asian, not Chinese.

  • KOBE SBM

    Why do so many people keep saying Harry Potter refers to “MUDBLOODS”, when it is MUGBLOODS they are saying? Muggles = Mugbloods, NOT mudbloods.

    • Pretty sure you’re the only person in the world thinks that.

      • KOBE SBM

        Don’t read much, huh? The books say MUGblood. Non magical folk are not Muddles, they are Muggles. Someday, when you learn to read, you might be able to see it for yourself in the actual Harry Potter books.

      • KOBE SBM

        So, you authored this article? Shame on you for not reading the books and only watching the movies. When you think you are hearing the word “Mudblood” in the movies, they are saying pretty clearly MUGBLOOD. I just checked my copies of the films. Malfoy says it very clearly. Also in the books, the word “Mudblood” appears nowhere in any of the 6 novels. You said:

        “Pretty sure you’re the only person in the world thinks that.”

        Are you also claiming that you know what everyone in the world is thinking? I am more than poisitive that you do not. And I am just as positive that the term “MUDblood” is what some people want to hear when the books and the actors in the films are clearly saying “MUGblood”.

        Get back to me your your correction when you can!

        • Read the books before I watched the movies.

          Also went back and checked, it’s mudblood.

          It’s obviously what they say in the movies too.

          Doing a search online provides absolutely nothing to support them saying mugblood.

          You’ve ether got your hands on a different edition of the books than everybody else has, or you’re a troll.

  • Slaeslia

    It’s not racist because there are not more Asian students. It’s racist for it’s tokenism and Rowling’s ignorance to look up names from different Asian coutries.

    • “Token” characters are generally added for the specific purpose of adding minorities, and are generally portrayed in a stereotypical manner in an attempt to say, “Look, I’m not racist, here’s my black friend.”.

      What stereotypes did any of the minority characters portray?

      There are several minorities in the Harry Potter series, and while they may not have played as big of a part in the movies, a lot of them play larger parts in the books.

      And as to the name, how is it racist to make a mistake. And who is to even say it’s a mistake? Cho was Scottish, her parents could have given her the name for any number of reasons.