I’ve been sitting back this past week going down rabbit hole after rabbit hole of social comments. I have friends and acquaintances who are on both sides of many hot topics—vaccines, COVID conspiracies, BLM, cancel culture, mental health, religion, gun control, women’s reproductive rights—and often have a front-row seat to heated debates that often end up getting pretty ugly. A lot of that is closed mindedness, but it also seems like we’re not always speaking the same language. How are we supposed to bridge this divide and come to a place of unity and progress if we can’t get to a level playing field for discussion? Here’s my attempt at doing just that:
In the beloved Harry Potter series we have Voldemort, the Dark Lord, who uses hate, violence, and elitism to gain supporters. They round up the undesirables; the “others,” the ones whose blood has been deemed impure and they put them in jail, or cages, or outright kill them.
The Ministry of Magic (the governing institution of the wizarding community) eventually gets overtaken by Voldemort’s followers. They then distribute misinformation to further their leader’s agenda, while holding back truths that would put power into the opposition’s hands.
The Order of the Phoenix bands together to fight Voldemort and his Death Eaters with the belief that Kingsley Shacklebolt (an Order member) sums up beautifully in book 7:
“We’re all human, aren’t we? Every human life is worth the same, and worth saving.”
Okay, now replace the above with the following:
- Voldemort – Trump
- “others” – Immigrants, POC, Trans folk
- The Ministry of Magic – The US Government
- Distribution of misinformation – COVID is over/racism doesn’t exist
- His agenda – keep the economy going/silence the oppressed
- Holding back truths – the seriousness of the ongoing pandemic/police brutality
- The Order of the Phoenix – scientists and doctors/activists and civil rights protesters
- Death Eaters – MAGA supporters
I admit, this may feel rather reductionist. Real life is never as black and white as a good fiction story where “good” and “bad” are as clear as night and day…but guys, you can’t deny that this narrative is just too real. And, yes there are definitely more gray areas IRL. But I’d like you to ask yourself, which side would you be on, or which side ARE you on—the one that values all human life, or the one that doesn’t? (It really is that simple).
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