Where’s Dumbledore’s Army?
Harry Potter has taught us all so many lessons: the importance and power of love, that the right book can solve any problem (if Hermione is with you), and that we don’t need magic and wands to unlock the magical power inside us. But the one lesson we can’t afford to forget right now is that together we are stronger than we are apart.
At the age of 11, Harry Potter was introduced to Draco Malfoy, and he completely hated him. Harry was also introduced to Severus Snape, and he completely hated him. The hatred wasn’t completely unwarranted either. Over the years, both of those characters did things that justified the hatred that Harry had toward them. However, as everyone came to realize later, it wasn’t black and white. Neither character was perfectly innocent, but they weren’t completely evil either.
Just a few weeks ago, America was divided over the decision for a leader with its future. A division that seemed as clear as Death Eaters and the Order, no matter which side of the election Americans stood on.
The difference comes with the fact that the world isn’t black and white. “The world isn’t split into good people and Death Eaters” (OoTP 271). Rowling excelled at writing characters that are morally gray. Each side has its good, and each side has its bad.
Sirius Black himself proved that even good men can have dark sides. While he often spouted great wisdom, he often failed to live up to them. “If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals” (GoF 525). Yet later we see him treating Kreacher in a horrible manner. That didn’t mean that Sirius was a bad person. He made mistakes, sometimes grave ones, and was hunted by people who made assumptions without seeking any real truths. We need to remember these lessons.
It was a theme repeated throughout the Harry Potter series. Some amazingly good characters did very questionable things, and the world today is facing some questionable things. Either way the presidential election went, some people would still have viewed the President-elect as the Voldemort of our time. It isn’t that simple, though. Much like Harry, everybody has been so quick to assume the bad in each side. They’ve become blinded by their ignorance. No side is innocent of that evil.
J.K. Rowling has demonstrated this again in Fantastic Beasts. When a threat came toward the wizarding world in America, everyone took a quick glance and assumed that a beast was causing all of the damage. They didn’t take the time to evaluate the situation and instead, jumped on a bandwagon of assumption.
Dark times are ahead if assumptions continue to rule. When Harry was facing oppression, he founded Dumbledore’s Army, a group dedicated to fighting the ignorance that the rise of Voldemort had caused. By taking the time to arm yourself with the world’s most powerful tool, knowledge, we can all become members of Dumbledore’s Army. Let’s make education and hope our mission for the future.
If there is one thing that Harry Potter teaches, it’s that sometimes a little hope is required to shine a light on ignorance. For some No-Majs, this election signals a dark time. There is no doubt about that. But it is possible to turn this around with a little Dumbledore-style magic.
I’m no Trelawney and have no way of viewing the future; I don’t know the good or bad that the future will hold. All I have is hope and knowledge. And in a world filled with hate and ignorance, that’s a powerful tool. Let’s unite in these dark times and work together as Dumbledore’s Army.