Making the Case for Grindelwald: “Who Does This Law Protect?”
The International Statute of Secrecy is obsolete, and humanity would benefit greatly if it were abolished. Grindelwald was a narcissistic, opportunistic extremist who committed atrocious crimes during the early 20th century. However, putting his methods and personal aspirations for power aside, I’m compelled to suggest that he was ideologically right. I condemn the idea of a society where wizards are given a divine right to rule over Muggles, but abolishing the International Statute of Secrecy is something that the wizarding community should be actively seeking to accomplish.
Medieval attitudes toward the persecution of magical folk were nonchalant if the essay that Harry was writing at the beginning of Prisoner of Azkaban, “Witch-burning in the Fourteenth Century Was Completely Pointless,” is anything to go by. However, by 1692, wizards’ attitudes had shifted – they were no longer as playful as Wendelin the Weird. Years of persecution, culminating in the Salem Witch Trials, led to the implementation of the International Statute of Secrecy.
Fast forward to over two centuries later, and fear continued to permeate Muggle–wizard relations, especially in the United States, where Rappaport’s Law was in full effect. Despite the progressiveness of having a woman of color serve as MACUSA’s President for most of the 1920s, as Newt points out, they had “rather backwards laws about relations with non-magic people.” Parallel to the civil rights crisis in Muggle America, where society was segregated under Jim Crow laws, wizards and Muggles were segregated by the International Statute of Secrecy, and by extension, Rappaport’s Law. The prohibition of Muggle–wizard marriages also caused me to reflect on the difficulties of interracial marriage prior to Loving v. Virginia in 1967. Rappaport’s Law itself wasn’t repealed until 1965, two decades after Dumbledore’s defeat of Grindelwald, which makes me think of the struggle that Jacob and Queenie would’ve had to go through to maintain their relationship in America. In 2017, however, I believe the time is ripe for wizards to reintegrate themselves into the Muggle community.
Proponents of the International Statute of Secrecy might contend that wizard and Muggle communities have diverged too far since the former went underground. However, there’s no reason why deeply ingrained biases and prejudicial behavior can’t be reduced through education and social interaction. A harmonious society in which wizards and Muggles coexist and combine their capabilities can only be beneficial for humanity. Human progress has been marked by several revolutions over the years: the cognitive revolution, the agricultural revolution, the scientific revolution, and the industrial revolution. Abolishing the International Statute of Secrecy and heralding in a magical revolution would start a new era of human growth, prosperity, and advancement. Just consider the endless possibilities for our world if wizards and Muggles worked together. There would be advancements in areas such as infrastructure and construction, medicine, law enforcement, and the economy.
What do you think? Should the International Statute of Secrecy be abolished? Please leave your comments below!
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