All posts tagged: Harry Potter

Can Fictional Symbols be Misused?

While scrolling through Instagram recently, I spotted a post by an old coworker. She had recently gotten a new tattoo, covering her inner forearm. Looking closer, I realized it was a full size Dark Mark. The tattoo and cheerfully glib caption left me feeling conflicted. If your not familiar with the symbol, it’s a huge part of the Harry Potter series. Essentially, it appears in the sky when the followers of Voldemort (the villian) kill. Voldemort’s followers are called Death Eaters, and the Dark Mark is also burned into their arms when they join him. Voldemort’s quest is to “purify” the wizarding world by purging it of any wizards born to non-magical parents, who are referred to as “mudbloods.” This fixation on blood purity makes the Death Eaters comparable to Nazi’s and White Supremacists, and to me, makes the Dark Mark comparable to a swastika. When I read the books, I thought the allegory for white supremacy was pretty explicit. So why is my former coworker proudly showing off the tattoo of a fictional hate …