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Harry Potter author and phenomenon, JK Rowling, may not be a fan of Donald Trump, but that didn’t stop her from defending his right to speak freely.
Rowling has been very public in her condemnation of Trump and his campaign, but she made it known while speaking at the PEN Literary Awards in NYC Monday night that he shouldn’t be forcefully silenced.
In a move contrary to what many budding “liberals” believe, Rowling gave the audience who are supposedly dedicated to the principles of “free expression” a much-needed lesson on what exactly that means.
During her speech, audience members applauded the idea of Trump being banned from the U.K., but Rowling was quick to call them out.
“His freedom to speak defends my freedom to call him a bigot,” Rowling said.
— Alvina Ling (@planetalvina) May 17, 2016
That’s a lesson many on the political left don’t seem to grasp. When they attempt to silence others, they also work to silence themselves.
Rowling expanded on her sentiment. The following transcript was taken from the Wall St. Journal:
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.
[An audience member claps. Rowling holds up her hand.]
Just a moment.
I find almost everything that Mr. Trump says objectionable. 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. Unless we take that absolute position without caveats or apologies, we have set foot upon a road with only one destination. 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 them grounds that they have offended you have crossed the line to stand alongside tyrants who imprison, torture and kill on exactly the same justification.
While Rowling’s speech seems to indicate she lives in a bit of a fantasyland as far as worldwide conflict and issues are concerned, her take on the importance of free speech is priceless.
Her entire speech can be heard below at about the 1 hour and 45 min. marker.
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