Over the past couple of weeks since the U.S. election, I’ve been seeing some people urging unity with those who have supported a certain political candidate. As a Hufflepuff it might seem hypocritical of me to say that we should ignore those people and to fight this change of power.
It is not.
The Hufflepuff way is compassion, not pacifism, and when compassion fails we must protect our own. Don’t die loving the person killing you or taking your rights and don’t urge others to do so either. To urge compassion for those who spout hateful, violent rhetoric is to ease their way to harming others.
Some might say that it would be better to educate those who would harm others. To that I say: now is the time to protect yourself and your people. We minority Hufflepuffs and our allies in other houses have tried to reason with and educate people to no avail. When people dehumanize and threaten the safety of your friends, your family, and you (because you must always remember to care for yourself too), the time for dialogue is done. Dialogue now, in response to such close-minded hate, is not only inadvisable, it is foolish. Do not mistake kindness for weakness or compliance. Do not turn the other cheek or your back on those who would stab you before you’ve even opened your mouth. You only have so much time and energy and care—spend it on protecting those who need your protection, not trying to convince those who simply won’t be convinced. People who would kill you simply for being who you are cannot be reasoned with.
Some might say that I myself am advocating hatred. I am not. This anger is born of love, not hate. We Hufflepuffs seek primarily to protect and defend. I call for the fierceness of a mother safeguarding her children, the righteous fury of a child sticking up for a friend and standing up to a bully. Even the puffiest of ‘puffs such as Lucy Pevensie and Steven Universe have fought when they were pushed to it. It is not in the Hufflepuff creed to fight every fight, but this is not just any fight. Many minorities in America feel unsafe right now and it is our duty to help them. It’s not anti-Hufflepuff to fight for the vulnerable. In fact, if you do not fight for those whom you love and who love, you are no true Hufflepuff.
Some might say that anger doesn’t heal and they’re right—it probably doesn’t. But I’m not looking to heal a hurt feeling from a biting comment or bridge a gap between best friends on the outs (someone’s feelings being hurt because they were called a “racist,” for instance, is not comparable to a threat to set a hijabi on fire). I’m not looking to heal relations with bigots. I am looking to destroy a system that has allowed and even encouraged violence against those perceived as “different” or “other”: Muslims, PoC, LGBQTA+, people with disabilities. Only from the ashes can something better be built. If you must heal or be compassionate, save your healing for the vulnerable or those who are hurt. This is not politics. This is not discussion or debate. This is survival.
Finally, and most importantly: don’t forget self-care. Hufflepuffs tend to focus on others to their own detriment but taking time to rest, heal, and care for yourself is every bit as important as helping others. After all, you can’t fight if you’re out for the count. This also goes for your method of fighting: don’t force yourself to do things that aren’t good for you. Choose your weapons wisely. If you have anxiety speaking to people, spread and disseminate info instead of making calls. If you alleviate stress through creation, create. If you help through comforting others, comfort. Build your support group and reach out to them and let them catch you if you falter. There’s no shame in it. Let people help you just as you help them.
Hufflepuffs only fight for causes that are morally right, and even then only when all other options have been exhausted. American Hufflepuffs have tried to educate people, voted, and gotten involved in the election in several ways. Now is the time to protest and protect. Being aggressive or assertive may not come easy to some Hufflepuffs, but it is necessary. To adapt a quote from L.M. Montgomery’s book Rilla of Ingleside, a sequel to Anne of Green Gables: Hufflepuffs go to war not in a blaze of glory or self-sacrifice, but because it simply must be done. When the call comes, Hufflepuff must answer. When you do, remember that you do so first and foremost as a Hufflepuff.