OPINION: Did American's just vote for Voldemort as president then Umbridge as Secretary of Education?
When I started writing this last week I thought "this might be a series, I don't know how to make all these comparisons in one go." This week, I know I will definatly make this a series because it's impossible to ignore all the things that are happening and how grotesquely similar they are to the literature in which I am comparing them.
The question that has been on my mind for months now, did J.K. Rowling predict the rise of Trump and his supporters or did Trump and his supporters read the Harry Potter series and think, hmm, one pure race and death eaters, might be fun?
Hear me out. (Obviously I don't think Rowling is psychic or has any sort of precognitive abilities), but some of the news stories I've been seeing seem to have more of a place in the Daily Prophet instead of in real, American, 2017, news.
Lets start with the lady of the week, Trump's Secretary of Education pick, Betsy DeVos.
If you have read or seen any of the later Harry Potter books or movies, you know who Delores Umbridge is and you can't convince me that the ministry, I mean, administration, isn't trying to place an uneducated campaign donor into a position that she literally knows nothing about.
At her confirmation hearing, she couldn't answer the simplest of questions about the current education system. She has never had any part, student, parent or otherwise, in the education system. She wants to privatize education which means that she wants public funds to go to private schools in the form of a voucher system. These schools would be allowed to cherry pick who they wanted, leaving the most vulnerable children in already underfunded schools, to fend for themselves. And if you don't think that's your child, think again.
Your child might be small town smart but that's really not good enough to combat the lack of funding that has and will take place, especially when we have no private schools in the area. Funding will be cut, even deeper, and your children will be without an equal education and it will be your fault.
Back to the main point, Umbridge and DeVos share many similarities. Both are ruthless, clueless and support a racist, misogynistic authoritarian who would love nothing more than to see mud bloods (anyone not white, rich or male) be excluded to restore the pure blood families to their original, oppressive glory.
Umbridge was put into a position of overseeing Hogwarts and the education of all of the young witches or wizards who received their Hogwarts letters, much like Trump and his followers are attempting to put DeVos in charge of your child's education.
Umbridge was a rich, uppity woman who had no experience with children or education, yet the ministry wanted her to change the system and make it better, despite her complete lack of knowledge or qualifications. By better, the ministry ultimately meant that they wanted her to step in and tell them when any student or faction of students began to revolt against the obviously oppressive and absurd practices being implemented by the ministry. They wanted to make sure that the students were smart enough to be disposable soldiers who questioned nothing but not smart enough to realize that the oppressive policies were toxic to the community and the world as a whole.
DeVos has admitted that she is a major contributor to the Republican party and has been for quite some time. Her confirmation hearing proved that fact over and over again. DeVos is the biggest threat to fair and equal education that America has encountered since the times of segregation.
If you really think about it, that's what you're lobbying for it you're behind her, segregation. Rich from poor, exceptionally smart from everyday intelligent, those with disabilities and those without, that's what you're saying you want and you're making a huge gamble that your kids will be chosen. That's a pretty big gamble. I know I personally couldn't look at myself or my baby knowing that I'm supporting someone who will make school only available for those at the top of the chain, instead of giving all of them an equal education.
You're voting for a segregation of our public school system into have and have nots under the premiss that it will make kids "more equal" if they have access to private schools (which again, do not exist in the area).
In reality, you're just taking your own tax dollars and throwing them into schools you won't be able to access and taking money away from your own kids and grandchildren. But by all means, follow the ministry. Take a nose dive with Voldemort and tow the death eater line, you'll only learn when history repeats itself and it's you and your children who are suffering from your lack of information or desire to be truly informed about those policies that will affect even the most privileged among you.
The final thought for today, Umbridge gave rise to the largest most educated resistance that Hogwarts, the ministry, Voldemort or the entire Wizarding world had ever seen, Dumbledores Army. The next generation is well organized, well informed and our voices will be louder than your systemic racism and fear. "Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light," - Albus Dumbledore
The views in this piece are those of the author and do not reflect those of the Poteau Daily News.