Culture

J.K. Rowling Defends ‘Bigot’ Donald Trump’s Free Speech Rights

JK Rowling
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It’s no secret that J.K. Rowling, author and prolific tweeter, has some strong feelings about Donald Trump. In the past, she’s compared the reality-show host and presidential candidate to Voldemort (with Trump being worse because he’s real) and suggested that his spokesperson is a real live Death Eater who walks among an unsuspecting public. Despite all that, Rowling wants the world to know that whether you agree or disagree with Trump’s rhetoric, he’s got the right to spew its hot and greasy contents wherever and whenever he likes. Just like she’s allowed to call him a bigot whenever she wants.

Speaking at the PEN America Literary Gala in New York City, Rowling used the presidential hopeful as an important example of how important free speech is, regardless of its content.

From the Hollywood Reporter:

“Intolerance of alternative viewpoints is spreading to places that make me, a moderate and a liberal, most uncomfortable. Only last year, we saw an online petition to ban Donald Trump from entry to the U.K. It garnered half a million signatures,” Rowling said.

This is, of course, the point in the speech where the audience began to applaud, but Rowling had a twist for everyone who thought she was just going to bash Trump and suggest that he should be banned on all continents (including North America) and sent directly into space, where he’d survive on the massive amounts of hot air he produces out of nowhere with alarming frequency.

“I find almost everything that Mr. Trump says objectionable,” Rowling continued. “I consider him offensive and bigoted. But he has my full support to come to my country and be offensive and bigoted there. His freedom to speak protects my freedom to call him a bigot. His freedom guarantees mine.”

Rowling concluded the speech by cautioning the audience that imposing bans on Trump or anyone else whose opinions one disagrees with would only lead to catastrophe in the end:

“If my offended feelings can justify a travel ban on Donald Trump, I have no moral ground on which to argue that those offended by feminism or the fight for transgender rights or universal suffrage should not oppress campaigners for those causes. If you seek the removal of freedoms from an opponent simply on the grounds that they have offended you, you have crossed the line to stand alongside tyrants who imprison, torture and kill on exactly the same justification.”

You can watch her entire speech below:

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