Just to prove that no one is safe from the permanently outraged class, J.K. Rowling has become the subject of another Twitter controversy. At issue is her essay “History of Magic in North America” and her description of Native American wizards. She describes some of them as being “skin walkers” (i.e. able to transform into animals) and of being highly skilled in plant and animal magic. She suggests that relations between Native American wizards and members of the European wizarding world have been, on the whole, peaceful. For the rather benign description, Rowling is being accused of racism, “colonialist writing” and “cultural appropriation.”
Rowling was recently the subject of a Twitter hate campaign when she came out in opposition to Scottish independence. The referendum to detach Scotland from the United Kingdom failed, but bitter feelings remain. Rowling has dealt with the campaign with deftness and grace.
The accusations of anti-Native American racism are likely a little bit more serious, even if they only come from a few Internet malcontents who live for tearing other people down on social media. If allowed to get out of control, the twitter campaign could be damaging to Rowling’s brand as the greatest author of children’s fantasy literature of our times.
Rowling can respond to the criticism in a number of ways.
She can ignore it, on the theory that it will blow over.
She can take it head on, much as she did the Scottish nationalists who suggested that she should be read out of the human race.
She can cringingly apologize and go on an apology tour, admitting her shortcomings as a white European and begging forgiveness, which will not be forthcoming.
Of the options, the second one would likely be most effective. She should not apologize, because the point of the Twitter haters is not to react to something that is genuinely offensive. The goal is for the critics to make themselves feel important by tearing down someone who has accomplished more than any living writer. Rowling has, after all, performed a miracle by inspiring children in an era of handheld electronics to read books. The accomplishment should not be cast aside just to appease the Internet hate corner. #News #Celebrities