When the Harry Potter series took off in the early 2000s, many conservative Christians warned parents that the book series was a gateway to witchcraft. Nineteen years later, activists on the far left are burning J.K. Rowling’s books because the author denies their favored kind of witchcraft — or rather, because she doesn’t embrace it fervently enough.
As Newsweek reported, former Harry Potter fans started a trend on TikTok, burning Rowling’s books on video.
TikTok user @elmcdo burned a pile of Harry Potter books on a pyre. “You have to stop using ‘death of the author’ as an excuse to have your cake and eat it too,” a voiceover says in the video. “While the reader’s perspective is an important part of interpretation and meaning, it is impossible to completely divorce a work from its creator.”
“The positive impact that J.K. Rowling’s work had on millions of readers does not negate how her hateful lobbying has affected the trans community,” the video alleges. “Your love of ‘Harry Potter’ is not more important than the lives of trans women.”
CEREMONIALLY BURNING JK ROWLING'S HARRY POTTER BOOKS
Does the Trans Lobby realise that this was Hitler's Nazi MO?
They are literally copying Hitler. pic.twitter.com/SqJ2sDmJJF
— #DefundTheBBC (@TheCoreChannel) September 16, 2020
John and Edward Grimes, the Irish singing duo known as “Jedward,” encouraged their 600,000 followers to torch Rowling’s latest book. “Does anyone need firewood this winter! JK’s new book is perfect to burn next to a Romantic fire,” the duo tweeted with a fire emoji. “Aww get all cozy and comfy can’t wait.”
Does anyone need firewood this winter! JK’s new book is perfect to burn next to a Romantic fire 🔥
Aww get all cozy and comfy can’t wait 😊
— JEDWARD (@planetjedward) September 15, 2020
RIP J.K. Rowling?
Transgender activists have long attacked Rowling for her nuanced position on transgender issues. The author accepts that some people who suffer from gender dysphoria (the condition of identifying with the gender opposite one’s biological sex) are well served by adopting a transgender identity and even undergoing hormonal and surgical interventions. She has, however, warned that such experimental treatments may be dangerous for minors, and she has also warned that opening up women’s private spaces to biological men can have extremely negative consequences.
Recently, Rowling published a new mystery book, Troubled Blood, under her pseudonym Robert Galbraith. Activists started tweeting “#RIPJKRowling” in protest, aiming to “cancel” the author. Why? The book allegedly tells the story of a man who dresses up as a woman in order to commit a murder, an idea which activists demonized as “transphobic.”
Yet the book does not focus on any such story. According to The Spectator, the entire episode only appears on one page, and it concerns a description of Dennis Creed, a serial killer. “She said he was dark and stocky, because he was wearing a wig at the time and all padded out in a woman’s coat,” the supposedly damning passage reads. In another section, “Creed mentions the advantage of lipstick and a wig in making women think he’s ‘a harmless old queer.'”
In other words, transgender activists whipped themselves into a furor over a minute side passage in a book, just because they disagree with Rowling’s moderate stance on transgender issues.
It gets even worse, however. Apparently, some triggered transgender activists thought Rowling’s pseudonym — Robert Galbraith — was linked to a therapist named Robert Galbraith Heath (1915-1999), who performed unethical experiments to turn gay people straight. Rowling’s spokesperson clarified that the Harry Potter author — who notoriously declared that Harry Potter character Albus Dumbledore was gay, years after the series had ended — was not inspired by the therapist.
“J.K. Rowling wasn’t aware of Robert Galbraith Heath when choosing the pseudonym for her crime novels,” a spokesperson told Newsweek. “Any assertion that there is a connection is unfounded and untrue.” The true inspiration for Rowling’s pseudonym came from Robert F. Kennedy.
It is absurd to think that Rowling chose the name because she has a secret hatred for LGBT people, but it seems transgender activists can get themselves so riled up, they will believe anything negative about their opponents.
As an avid fan of the Harry Potter books, I find it tragic that transgender activists would burn them simply because they disagree with Rowling’s warnings about the excesses of transgender activism. Those warnings are important, but it seems that any hesitance to embrace the most radical “reforms” is damnable heresy to the transgender mob.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.