Hillary Clinton gave the keynote address at the American Library Association’s annual conference in Chicago on Tuesday and cited a study that concluded children who read the Harry Potter series were more compassionate to immigrants, refugees, and the LGBT community, reports ABC News. “Years of data suggests that reading fiction builds empathy,” Clinton said. “It helps us put ourselves in others’ shoes.” “One study even found that young people who read the Harry Potter books, which first came out 20 years ago this week, were more compassionate toward immigrants, refugees, and members of the LGBT community,” Clinton added. “And so, it’s impossible for me to overstate the impact on children who see themselves in the pages of a book and are introduced to people unlike themselves in a pages of a book and then are inspired to dream a little bigger.”
The responses to ABC posting the video to Twitter were quite skeptical:
The rest of her speech, if you choose to listen, is all about the importance of identity politics being represented in literature and how crucial that is, in her opinion, for a better future for children. “Reading is not just a nice thing to do,” Clinton said, “it’s how we help give our children the best possible start in life. And if we’re serious about raising curious, empathetic, brave citizens, that starts with raising readers.” “You know, books really do help us understand one another, help us consider perspectives we may not have thought about before, shatter stereotypes, spark important conversations about all kinds of issues.” Sure, it sounds nice until you realize the kinds of books she means. It ain’t the Bible, you can be sure of that.