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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.

Photo courtesy of Capital One
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Growing up in Virginia, Dominique Meeks Gombe idolized her family physician — a young Black woman who inspired Meeks Gombe to pursue her passion for chemistry.

While Meeks Gombe began her career working in an environmental chemistry lab, after observing multiple inefficient processes in and around the lab, she took the initiative to teach herself to code in order to automate and streamline those issues.

That sparked her love for coding and imminent career shift. Now a software engineer at Capital One, Meeks Gombe wants to be a similar role model to her childhood mentor and encourage girls to pursue any career they desire.

"I'm so passionate about technology because that's where the world is going," Meeks Gombe said. "All of today's problems will be solved using technology. So it's very important for me, as a Black woman, to be at the proverbial table with my unique perspective."

Since 2019, she and her fellow Capital One associates have partnered with the Capital One Coders program and Girls For A Change to teach coding fundamentals to middle school girls.

The nonprofit's mission is aimed at empowering Black girls in Central Virginia. The organization focuses on designing, leading, funding and implementing social change projects that tackle issues girls face in their own neighborhoods.

Girls For a Change is one of many local nonprofits that receive support from the Capital One Impact Initiative, which strives to close gaps in equity while helping people gain better access to economic and social opportunities. The initial $200 million, five-year national commitment aims to support growth in underserved communities as well as advance socioeconomic mobility.

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This article originally appeared on 06.16.15


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