Muggles for Harry Potter

Tanaquil2 at Tanaquil2 at
Fri Jun 16 10:46:38 EDT 2000

In a message dated 6/16/00 9:21:57 AM Eastern Daylight Time, 
bkoch at writes:

> I just got a shock from the "Moral Majority":
>  Apparently, Harry Potter books are banned from school libraries and 
> classroooms 
>  in some U.S. states

this didn't surprise me

>  and in New Zealand,

but this did.  I don't know much about NZ but I hadn't imagined it the kind 
of place with a strong 'moral majority' type group.  just goes to show.

>  which has caused some people to form 
> a group
>  called "Muggle for Harry Potter" ( )
>  I read some of the causes they listed:
>  - it's violent
>  - it's icky-bah witchcraft
>  - it's against families (because the Dursleys are so horrible)
>  - muggles (= we) are portrayed as stupid losers
>  -...
>  I nearly couldn't believe it! I think banning books from schools is wrong 
>  if you have a problem with some of the issues, why not read the books in 
>  school and talk about them?

well, because when people stop and think and exchange those thoughts, not 
only do they start to get ideas and think about 'what ifs', they also realize 
that they are not the lone voices in the wilderness they thought they were.  
And if all those 'what if' lone voices in the wilderness get together into a 
group, they start egging each other on into changing those ideas into 
reality.  They stop thinking and start acting which leads to change which is 
not good if you hold the 'top' position in society. (like in "Dark Lord of 
Derkholm" nothing happens to Mr Chesney until everyone realizes together that 
things don't have to stay the way they are.)  I read this really interesting 
(to me at least) article that talked about Noam Chomsky (? I think - sketchy 
memory I'm afraid) and he said (paraphrase) that totalitarian regimes focus 
on controlling the individual's actions, but seemingly 'freer' societies 
focus on controlling the individual's *thoughts and opinions.*  Makes you 
think for a minute, eh?

>  And to bring this back on topic: there's probably lots of things in dwj 
>  some people would have similar objections to...

definitely.  try the idea that you are responsible for your own life, for a 

>  Oh, and another one of those half-forgotten books from childhood / puberty
>  is one where people wanted to ban "Tom Sawyer" and "Huckleberry Finn"
>  from being read, on the grounds that women were portrayed as stupid, and 
> that Tom
>  on the boat just with the escaped slave is also not ok... anyone know it? 

the flip side of 'free speech vs censorship" The moral majority are not the 
only people who want to censor.  To each side the wish to silence someone 
else seems justifiable - "get rid of them, they're a threat to my security / 
all I stand for / all I've worked for."  No easy solution; how do you create 
an environment where everyone feels safe?

>  Britta, whose first English dwj arrived yesterday (Deep Secrets), yay!


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