William Makepeace Thackeray, novelist (1811-1863)
The Potter books in general are a prolonged argument for tolerance, a prolonged plea for an end to bigotry, and I think it's one of the reasons that some people don't like the books, but I think that it's a very healthy message to pass on to younger people that you should question authority and you should not assume that the establishment or the press tells you all of the truth.
J.K. Rowling, novelist (b. 1965)
As for the first quote, I believe it, but at this moment, I have no thoughts, apparently (save these.)
The second quote is so true and I can't fathom why there are people who will not allow their children to read the Potter books (especially the first several.)