By: Essa Nazari
The opinions and views discussed in this article is not held by the author, nor the Owl Post. However, in an effort to offer a fair and balanced view of what is occurring in Hogwarts, we present you with the poster wars.
Lately, posters have been cropping up all of the hallways of our school like the plague. It seems for every poster that comes down two more appear. We have tried to ignore them. We have tried to make their words (which some people might claim to be the truth) unreadable. But it is time to stop the acts of cowardice and examine both sides of this argument in an effort to try to bring some peace back to the school. A famous muggle scientist, Albert Einstein once said, “Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.” This is what I hope to gain…not only for myself but for the school as well.
The first poster that appeared was an anti-werewolf poster signed only by the nom de plume ‘Black Sheep.’ At the very heart of this poster lays a rather passionate argument that those who are cursed with lycanthropy shouldn’t be allowed in the school on behalf of, the writer argues, the safety of all because those who have this curse are classified as a class XXXXX beast in their wolfish forms. The author even points out that even with the wolfsbane potion, the bite is still infectious on the full moon. What the Black Sheep author is requesting is for a werewolf registry for the safety of the population according to the writer’s logic. However, when you get to the heart of the poster from Black Sheep, it’s that they question Deputy Headmistress O’Keefe’s motive. I can understand why. Fear is a powerful thing. Some mild defacing occurred, mostly (from what I saw) the usage of the spell illegibilus to prevent the poster from being read.
After these posters appeared, pro-wolf posters began to crop up. All of them echoed the same theme. They are more than their disease. Just as quickly, each one of these posters were defaced with themes of those who are cursed with lycanthropy were murderers, monsters, or out to savage anyone who comes across their path in blood red paint. I found this interesting as an outsider that despite being allowed to have a say Black Sheep…or whoever was behind this, did not feel like they could allow those who were pro-werewolf the same luxury. Where as all these posters were stating was that they were more than a furry beast a night a month. They are humans. They have lives and want to live their life without concern…of being rejected because of what they are.
After the proud werewolf buttons began to be passed out a new poster began to appear. This time directly threatening any person who openly wore the button with being hexed. Just because they chose to make it known that they support a person who is their friend/family member/significant other. It is clear that people are passionate over this issue. And it’s a big deal to everyone.
The final poster to appear as of late is probably the most disturbing one. It’s an anti-everyone who is different poster. Wrote in blue pencil with a drawing of a woman and what appears to be a harpy next to her, it’s words have seemed to shake the castle and those who live in it to their very core. “Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry-Not Hogwarts School of Bird People, Wolves, Goblins, and Other Freaks.” It’s clear that the creator of this poster was not against just werewolves but are against everyone who is different. They want, so it seems, for the school to be for normal witches and wizards with nothing extraordinary about them–besides their magic.
When I volunteered for this article, I did so with the hope that I could come to some understanding about why people believed the way they did on this hot topic issue. Fear seems to be the primary motivator on all sides. Fear of being attacked, which is justifiable with what is occurring on/around the castle grounds and in Hogsmeade. There is also a fear of being attacked, for something that a person cannot help or change because it was thrust upon them or they were born into a certain family lineage. These are things that no one can change.
Muggle philosopher, Bertrand Russell once said, “Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.” Perhaps, the change comes from within instead. Stop letting the fear divide us and lets find a way of uniting the school. I suspect, and fear, that we will need to be united in our differences before the end of the school year.