J K Rowling is a formidable woman. It’s been abundantly clear for some time now—given Rowling’s acknowledgment of Albus Dumbledore’s sexual orientation—that she has been a strong champion for gay rights. However, whereas Dumbledore’s sexual orientation was never explicitly discussed in the Harry Potter series, Rowling’s twitter feed has offered vocal and visible advocacy for the gay community.
Having recently shared her hearty support for the gay marriage referendum in Ireland, via the following tweet:
Rowling found herself targeted by the Westboro Baptist Church and its assorted histrionics:
As if being picketed by the WBC is some great moral shame and not, say, a rite of passage for anyone aspiring to a bare minimum of decency.
More and more, Westboro Baptist Church begins to resemble some nightmare Onion parody.
Rowling, true to form, responded thusly to the WBC’s feeble heckling:
.@WBCsigns Alas, the sheer awesomeness of such a union in such a place would blow your tiny bigoted minds out of your thick sloping skulls.— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) May 26, 2015
However, not everyone on the Internet agreed with Rowling’s actions in this regard. One fan wrote that it was “counter-productive” to retaliate, as it brought undue publicity to the WBC.
@jk_rowling while i am in total agreement with you, giving them attention is counterproductive. that’s what they want.— Lara (@livehead16) May 26, 2015
This brings up an interesting and ongoing question about sociopolitical dialogue: is it better to ignore a problem, so as to not lend it power? Or is it best to confront it, in an attempt to actively engage and explore potential solutions?
In response, Rowling stated that her concerns lay, not with the WBC, but with the gay community.
I don't care about WBC. I think it's important that scared gay kids who aren't out yet see hate speech challenged. https://t.co/XumjDmEjuw— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) May 27, 2015
If our fear of drawing attention to hate speech prevents us from acknowledging the problem of hate speech, then we are, in our passivity, part of the problem.
Read more: 5 Awesome Ways People Are Effectively Fighting Trolls and hyperlink headline to this article