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Watch J.K. Rowling slam Trump and defend freedom of speech like a boss.

'I find almost everything that Mr. Trump says objectionable.'

Watch J.K. Rowling slam Trump and defend freedom of speech like a boss.

It's safe to say J.K. Rowling is not a fan of Donald Trump.

She once claimed that Voldemort — the evil, mass-murdering wizard hell-bent on world domination in her novels — "was nowhere near as bad" as the presumptive 2016 GOP nominee for president. 

So I think Trump has yet to win her over.


Carl Court/AFP/Getty Images.

Yet even with her deep-rooted dislike of the reality TV star-turned-presidential hopeful, Rowling came to his defense in a speech on May 16, 2016.

Well ... sort of.

At the PEN America Literary Gala in New York City, where Rowling received the PEN/Allen Foundation Literary Service Award, the author explained why she opposed a popular petition in the U.K. that had aimed to ban Trump from entering Britain. 

Trump's past comments on Muslims, petitioners had argued, qualify as hate speech, and he should not be welcome there.

Photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images.

In her speech, Rowling explained that the freedom of speech that protects his offensive language is the same freedom that protects her right to call him a "bigot":

“Now, 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.”

Photo by Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images.

"If my offended feelings can justify a travel ban on Donald Trump, I have no moral grounds 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."

Ultimately, the petition Rowling referred to failed to produce an actual ban on Trump's entry to the U.K. — but not before British parliament had a field day debating the matter, many members using the opportunity to slam the real estate mogul's offensive comments against immigrants and Muslims.

Rowling's remarks serve as a great reminder that, yes, even presidential candidates have the right to say unconscionably offensive things.

As historian Evelyn Beatrice Hall once wrote in reference to a thought by famed philosopher Voltaire, "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

During a very heated election season, her words are ones we should all keep in mind — even if it means accepting the racist, sexist, Islamophobicableisthomophobicxenophobic and flat-out despicable things that trickle out of Trump's mouth and into a megaphone.

So, I say we do Rowling a solid and focus on keeping Trump as far away from the White House as possible — not attempt to censor the harmful things he has to say.

Photo by Thos Robinson/Getty Images for MoveOn.org Political Action.

Watch footage from the gala, including J.K. Rowling's speech, below.

Rowling's speech starts at about the 1:49:00 mark.

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In 1945, the world had just endured the bloodiest war in history. World leaders were determined to not repeat the mistakes of the past. They wanted to build a better future, one free from the "scourge of war" so they signed the UN Charter — creating a global organization of nations that could deter and repel aggressors, mediate conflicts and broker armistices, and ensure collective progress.

Over the following 75 years, the UN played an essential role in preventing, mitigating or resolving conflicts all over the world. It faced new challenges and new threats — including the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, a Cold War and brutal civil wars, transnational terrorism and genocides. Today, the UN faces new tensions: shifting and more hostile geopolitics, digital weaponization, a global pandemic, and more.

This slideshow shows how the UN has worked to build peace and security around the world:

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Malians wait in line at a free clinic run by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Mission in Mali in 2014. Over their 75 year history, UN peacekeepers have deployed around the world in military and nonmilitary roles as they work towards human security and peace. Here's a look back at their history.

Photo credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

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