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In "The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore" Rita Skeeter mentions that Albus Dumbledore promoted Muggle rights:

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, chapter 18:

Astonished and appalled though his many admirers will be, this letter constitutes the Statute of Secrecy and establishing Wizard rule over Muggles. What a blow for those who have always portrayed Dumbledore as the Muggle-borns' greatest champion! How hollow those speeches promoting Muggle rights seem in the light of this damning new evidence! How despicable does Albus Dumbledore appear, busy plotting his rise to power when he should have been mourning his mother and caring for his sister!

What are these Muggle rights that Dumbledore promoted?

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    The right to not get sport-murdered, for one. – PlutoThePlanet Nov 5 '18 at 14:02
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Dumbledore believed Muggles deserved to be considered.

When Dumbledore mentions the disappearance of Frank Bryce, a Muggle, he also says that he regrets that the Ministry doesn’t consider Frank’s disappearance important because he’s a Muggle.

“And there was a third disappearance, one which the Ministry, I regret to say, does not consider of any importance, for it concerns a Muggle. His name was Frank Bryce, he lived in the village where Voldemort’s father grew up, and he has not been seen since last August. You see, I read the Muggle newspapers, unlike most of my Ministry friends.”
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 30 (The Pensieve)

This indicates that Dumbledore himself does believe the disappearance of Muggles to be important to consider, and that he reads the Muggle newspapers implies he’s interested in Muggle events.

He refused to ban stories with pro-Muggle messages in Hogwarts.

Though Dumbledore has been asked to remove certain stories such as “The Fountain of Fair Fortune” from the Hogwarts library because of their messages on Muggles, he’s refused.

“My refusal to remove the book from the library was backed by a majority of the Board of Governors. I wrote back to Mr. Malfoy, explaining my decision:

So-called pure-blood families maintain their alleged purity by disowning, banishing, or lying about Muggles or Muggle-borns on their family trees. They then attempt to foist their hypocrisy upon the rest of us by asking us to ban works dealing with the truths they deny. There is not a witch or wizard in existence whose blood has not mingled with that of Muggles, and I should therefore consider it both illogical and immoral to remove works dealing with the subject from our students’ store of knowledge.8
- The Tales of Beedle the Bard

From his letter, Dumbledore clearly doesn’t believe that being pure-blood means anything, and he doesn’t consider the idea of wizards marrying Muggles something that should be banned.

He likely made pro-Muggle decisions in his positions of authority.

Dumbledore held many positions of authority in the wizarding world, such as being the Supreme Mugwump of the International Confederation of Wizards and the Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot.

“Headmaster: Albus Dumbledore
(Order of Merlin, First Class, Grand Sorc., Chf. Warlock, Supreme Mugwump, International Confed. of Wizards)”

- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 4 (The Keeper of the Keys)

In those positions, he could make and influence decisions about the laws of the wizarding world.

“Dumbledore’s innumerable contributions to the store of wizarding knowledge, including his discovery of the twelve uses of dragon’s blood, will benefit generations to come, as will the wisdom he displayed in the many judgements he made while Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot.”
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 2 (In Memoriam)

It’s likely he made pro-Muggle decisions in these positions, especially considering that the wizarding world knows him as a champion of Muggle rights, whatever their own personal opinions of Muggles - those who don’t know him personally would need some reason to believe this.

Those against Muggles believe Dumbledore champions them.

Also, those who oppose Muggles consider Dumbledore someone who fights for them, and they’d know who their opponents are. The Dark Lord, who intends to eventually raise wizards up to rule over the Muggles, calls Dumbledore the champion of commoners, of Mudbloods and Muggles.

“And I answer myself, perhaps they believed a still-greater power could exist, one that could vanquish even Lord Voldemort … perhaps they now pay allegiance to another … perhaps that champion of commoners, of Mudbloods and Muggles, Albus Dumbledore?”
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 33 (The Death Eaters)

The Dark Lord almost certainly has some basis for considering Dumbledore a strong opponent of his cause in this way - the Dark Lord would have to know who he’d be fighting against.

He was described as a determined supporter of Muggle rights.

In the eulogy Dumbledore’s friend Elphias Doge wrote about him, Doge described Dumbledore as someone who never seemed against Muggles and determinedly supported Muggle rights.

“They could not have been more mistaken: as anybody who knew Albus would attest, he never revealed the remotest anti-Muggle tendency. Indeed, his determined support for Muggle rights gained him many enemies in subsequent years.”
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 2 (In Memoriam)

Though Elphias Doge was Dumbledore’s friend so was more likely to look kindly on him and not say anything that could be considered bad about his dead friend, it’s unlikely he’d have entirely made up that Dumbledore had supported Muggle rights, especially considering the other evidence.

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    "Also, those who oppose Muggles consider Dumbledore someone who fights for them, and they’d know who their opponents are." Just because X identifies Y as an enemy does not mean Y is the enemy. X may have other reasons for making that statement and/or for galvanizing support against Y. – WBT Nov 5 '18 at 21:44
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    This is a detailed, well-organised, and authoritative answer that firmly establishes Dumbledore's personal opinion on the value of Muggles and desire to support their rights, the outside perception of those opinions by both supporters and detractors, and his provenance in terms of ability to influence changes to uphold those opinions. Unfortunately, it fails the question in one important area: it doesn't call out any specific Muggle rights, and instead refers to Muggle rights in the general sense. – Joel Coehoorn Nov 6 '18 at 1:23
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    ummm. wow, good catch @JoelCoehoorn! – FreeMan Nov 7 '18 at 20:43
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    @Bellatrix - not arguing with your answer (I know better, I've read the books, I know what you're capable of ;), that was just a very good point. – FreeMan Nov 7 '18 at 21:36
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    Nice research and answer! The conclusion is that there is no specific list of "muggle rights" in canon. – vap78 Nov 8 '18 at 15:40
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The comment from @PlutoThePlanet, "The right to not get sport-murdered", whether meant as a joke or as an answer, is the extent to which we know about Dumbledore's support for Muggle rights. We know that Dumbledore's support for Muggle rights doesn't include the right to be left alone to mind their own affairs.

In a letter to Grindelwald, Dumbledore writes:

Gellert

Your point about Wizard dominance being FOR THE MUGGLE'S OWN GOOD -- this, I think, is the crucial point. Yes, we have been given power and yes, that power gives us the right to rule, but it also gives us responsibilities over the ruled. We must stress this point, it will be the foundation stone upon which we build. Where we are opposed, as we surely will be, this must be the basis of all our counterarguments. We seize control FOR THE GREATER GOOD. And from this it follows that where we meet resistance, we must use only the force that is necessary and no more.

Albus (DH)

So his attitude is "power gives us the right to rule", of might makes right. As the Muggles have no (magical) might or power, they have no rights, except that the Wizards are limited in using their power to what they think is good for those ruled, not that they would bother to actually ask what they want.


It should be noted that the very definition of the word "Muggle" implies they are too stupid to think for themselves:

Rowling

I was looking for a word that suggested both foolishness and loveability. The word 'mug' came to mind, for somebody gullible, and then I softened it. I think 'muggle' sounds quite cuddly. (interview)


We don't know much about Dumbledore's interaction with Muggles, but what we know doesn't show him in a good light.

When he visited Tom Riddle in the orphanage, he used magic against Mrs Cole:

There was no doubt that Mrs Cole was an inconveniently sharp woman. Apparently Dumbledore thought so too, for Harry now saw him slip his wand out of the pocket of his velvet suit, at the same time picking up a piece of perfectly blank paper from Mrs Cole’s desktop.

'Here,' said Dumbledore, waving his wand once as he passed her the piece of paper, 'I think this will make everything clear.'

Mrs Cole's eyes slid out of focus and back again as she gazed intently at the blank paper for a moment.

'That seems perfectly in order,' she said placidly, handing it back. (HBP)

As the muggle ministry is aware of magic, it should be no problem to have some official documentation to give her to keep. Instead she is missing one of the children she is responsible for, and in case there is an audit, all she can say is that she thought everything was fine, but she doesn't have any proof to present, so she would be in serious trouble.


Later, he drops Harry at the Dursleys' door without bothering to ask their opinion. He doesn't even have the decency to tell Petunia in person that her sister is dead and that she is supposed to raise Harry.

Dumbledore stepped over the low garden wall and walked to the front door. He laid Harry gently on the doorstep, took a letter out of his cloak, tucked it inside Harry’s blankets and then came back to the other two. (PS)

In fact, in OotP he admits that he knew how Harry's childhood would be, so he was fully aware that the Dursleys don't want Harry.

You had suffered. I knew you would when I left you on your aunt and uncle’s doorstep. I knew I was condemning you to ten dark and difficult years. (OotP)

In book 6 when he comes to retrieve Harry, he conjures three glasses of mead and levitates them, banging against the Dursleys' heads, validating their fears that magic might be used against them. This is not just disrespectful, it is plain rude, and I don't think he will find a convincing argument that it is for their own good, or even for the greater good, it is just petty and shows that he is a bully who likes to annoy people who can't defend themselves.


So there is no evidence that Dumbledore promoted any Muggle rights, and if he did, it was likely for political maneuvering and not because he believed them to be what is right. His personal opinion about Muggles is the same as the author's, that they are fools and need to be told what to do, and can be used for entertainment.

The difference between him and the Death Eaters is just in the details. Dumbledore thinks it's fine to have some fun with the Muggles as long as they stay alive, while the Death Eaters don't have that restriction.

  • Interesting answer...I thought I'd refute your point, by pointing out that Dumbledore changed his muggle domination ideas after his sister's death, but there's no defense for leaving Harry on the doorstep, without talking to Petunia. Dumbledore was committed to the greater good, until his death. His plans worked out in the end, though... However, bewitching Mrs. Cole was in accordance with observing the Statute of Secrecy. That can't be counted against him – Simpleton Jan 3 at 13:55
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    @Simpleton Having official documentation is better for observing the Statute of Secrecy, having children vanish without explanation might be noticed sooner or later. Harry won despite Dumbledore's plans, not because of them. – QuestionAuthority Jan 3 at 14:02
  • The debate of whether Harry won because of Dumbledore, or inspite of him can never be settled satisfactorily – Simpleton Jan 3 at 14:36
  • @Simpleton - If Dumbledore was a public figure in the wizarding world, then the longer he was present, the more likely Harry's location would be revealed. Some have theorized that he'd already spoken to Petunia, while Hagrid was in transit with Harry. Certainly, if she had only reluctantly agreed to take in Harry, then she'd have an opportunity to change her mind if someone was handing Harry to her - with him simply left on the doorstep, there would be no opportunity to change her mind or refuse to take him. – RDFozz Jan 3 at 17:05
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    @RDFozz There are theories for everything, but if Dumbledore had already spoken to Petunia, why would he say that everything is explained in the letter? And if he knows she doesn't want Harry, as he later admits, why force her? – QuestionAuthority Jan 3 at 19:27

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