A student at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse filed a report with the campus “Hate Response Team” claiming that a mural of a Harry Potter character on campus was transphobic, ableist, and a representation of “white power.”
According to Heat Street’s Jillian Melchior, the apparently controversial mural was painted by two students and shows one of the characters from the Harry Potter films, Neville Longbottom, transforming from a nerdy boy into a good-looking man — and another student had a huge, huge problem with that.
In fact, that student (whose name was redacted from the reports that Melchior received) actually went so far as to file a complaint stating that the painting “represents our ideal society and everything I am trying to fight against.”
It represents white power. Man power. Cis power. Able power. Class power. ECT [sic] etc. I am angry that I know the people who put this mural up, and I am anger [sic] because I know the people who let this mural be put up. Like I said earlier, maybe I am being a little sensitive, but it is how I feel. This represents, to me, our society, and I do not want it up on this wall. Why do we need a BEFORE and AFTER?
Listen, kid. If that’s how you “feel,” then fine. Well, at least kind of fine, because I’d say if you really are so “angry” about having to even “know” people who put up a Harry Potter painting, then you probably have some anger issues you need to address. It’s not like they’re ISIS, relax. But in any case, the biggest problem about all of this isn’t even the fact that this kid seems to “feel” a level of anger over a painting that seems like it would be more appropriate to feel over something like terrorism. It’s the fact that he or she goes right from “it is how I feel” into “I do not want it up on this wall” — right from “I feel like this” into “I am telling you I want you to take it down just because of the reasons I just outlined, those reasons being my feelings.”
Honestly, this student’s report shows a level of entitlement and narcissism that’s far more offensive than any painting I’ve ever seen. “Why do we need a BEFORE and AFTER?” Well, kid, because that’s what the artist painted. Hate to break it to you, but you don’t have a right to be around only art that you like. It’s okay to have feelings, but it’s not okay to think that your feelings are some kind of tyrannical ruler that everyone must bow down to and obey. The fact that this kid actually filed an official report — thinking that it was something that the school should have to officially address — is nothing short of disturbing.
According to Heat Street, the mural went up in the Laux Residence Hall in April and still remains there today, despite this student’s completely kookoobananas request.