Harry Potter & the Illiberal Liberals: Rowling Returns Kennedy Award over Trans Tweets

September 1st, 2020 2:43 PM

At the first sign of left-wing infighting, normal people instinctively reach for the popcorn. But in this case, it’s hard not to sympathize with J.K. Rowling. One day, you’re a liberal celebrity in good standing, and the next you’re returning a humanitarian award you got from the frickin’ Kennedys. 

That’s right. According to Fox News, last year the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights organization gave the Harry Potter author the “Ripple of Hope Award” (probably for writing the only books not about race issues that anyone under 30 has read.) But then, back in June, Rowling did something foolish -- she shared rational thoughts about the transgender craze on social media. Rowling, it seems, believes in biology. She scoffed at the woke practice of calling women “people who menstruate,” out of deference to “women” who don’t menstruate (dudes who’ve decided they’re chicks.)

The backlash was swift and brutal. But Rowling did something else foolish: she didn’t back down or grovel. This was too much for Kerry Kennedy (at one time, Kerry Kennedy Cuomo -- so much likeability in one name!), the president of RFKHR. 

She released a statement saying “Over the course of June 2020 – LGBTQ Pride Month – and much to my dismay, J.K. Rowling posted deeply troubling transphobic tweets and statements.” You’re supposed to be doubly, maybe triply outraged that Rowling’s heresy occurred during the sacred Pride Month -- Ramadan for the leather speedo set.

Kennedy went on: 

[Rowling] has chosen to use her remarkable gifts to create a narrative that diminishes the identity of trans and non-binary people, undermining the validity and integrity of the entire transgender community—one that disproportionately suffers from violence, discrimination, harassment, and exclusion and, as a result, experiences high rates of suicide, suicide attempts, homelessness, and mental and bodily harm. Black trans women and trans youth in particular are targeted.

Of course, Rowling didn’t create the narrative, biology did. And laying all the misfortunes of mentally ill people at the door of someone who dissents from fashionable opinion is mighty scummy. Uncle Teddy would be proud. 

But Rowling again didn’t back down, writing on her website:

As a longstanding donor to LGBT charities and a supporter of trans people’s right to live free of persecution, I absolutely refute the accusation that I hate trans people or wish them ill, or that standing up for the rights of women is wrong, discriminatory, or incites harm or violence to the trans community.

So now, Rowling, a liberal, is returning her award because Kennedy, a liberal, is outraged that she hasn’t kept up with the illiberalism of today’s liberals. It would all be funny if we weren’t seeing the same thing playing out over and over across the culture. Anyway, is the popcorn ready?