Rachel Rostad - “To JK Rowling, from Cho Chang”
this performance deserves to be experienced in whole (rather than gifs)
So basically, you’re accusing Harry Potter of Racism. Even though the whole series is from beginning to end a giant metaphor against racism? You remember that part in EVERY SINGLE BOOK, where they said it’s not who you were born to be, it’s who you choose to be? Did they not drill that point deep enough?
And here’s the thing. Some of the things you describe about Cho are true. (And some, like her not having a complex range of emotions, are not). She’s not a hero. And yeah, I suppose some of those things are also associated with an asian stereotype. But you cannot, CANNOT, draw a giant parallel from just one character. You know why? Because Cho’s not a symbol, she’s a person. She just happened to be that way. Nobody said she was representative of the entire asian ethnic group.
(In fact, rarely was anyone’s ethnicity ever pointed out in the book. They were all characters, not poster boys of demographic groups.)
sure the series is a metaphor against racism, but it can be that and be racist at the same time. honestly i dont remember every detail in the books because it’s been a while since i’ve read them, but intent doesn’t matter. it’s possible to have the best intentions at heart and still do racist things. nobody and nothing is perfect and flawless.
and no, cho is not a person. SHE’S A CREATION. SHE’S NOT REAL. SHE IS A STORYBOOK CHARACTER THAT A REAL LIVE HUMAN BEING CREATED, WHO LIVES IN WESTERN SOCIETY AND HAS BEEN EXPOSED TO ASIAN STEREOTYPES. all of cho’s traits (and lack thereof) were imagined by the author, and if you stop pretending that the series exists in a vacuum or in a real universe and see it as a product and a mirror of our society (because thats what media is), you’ll see that cho, as created by jkr, is pretty obviously influenced by how asian people are stereotyped in media (or at least youll see how poorly researched or thought out her character is)
it matters how she’s characterized in the books because those books are extremely popular and widespread, and without a realistic or fully developed character, one that’s not flat or used as a prop or a tool for the main character to learn a life-lesson and then never expanded upon again, it is not helping. it’s just another harmful representation of asian people in popular fiction. she didnt just “”“happen”“” to be the way she is. she was MADE that way.
and okay, fine, maybe jkr did intend for her to have the personality she has. but why? why not a cho chang who is in hufflepuff? gryffindor? slytherin, even? why not a cho chang with an actually chinese name?? why not a cho chang who isnt just a prop for harry to react to and angst over? a cho chang with motivations and emotions and dreams?
why not a cho chang who is a hero?
ALSO, just because we want more POC characters doesnt mean we want them to represent an entire ethnic group??? it just means we fucking want MORE. because in a world where fictional characters are a white majority and the only POC characters are one-dimensional or token characters, it gets really fucking tiring.
and not mentioning the races of various characters isn’t a ‘not racist’ thing, IT’S ERASURE.
and by the way, pointing all this out isnt the same thing as saying the entire harry potter series is awful and no one should like it. pointing it out is just that, to make people stop and actually THINK about how minority characters are portrayed, whether or not its problematic within the context of western society given how every single asian character in every other work of fiction is portrayed, and if it is, WHY.
nothing is perfect and everything is problematic, and just because you like something doesnt mean you cant think critically about it
holy shit. holy shit, holy shit, holy shit this is incredible.