Jordan B. Peterson fires back after Durham City Council questions his ‘right to a platform’

by WorldTribune Staff, August 12, 2018

A Canadian psychology professor and author who has been referred to as “kryptonite” to the Left’s identity politics is fighting back after what he said was an assault on his character launched by the City Council of Durham, North Carolina.

Jordan B. Peterson, University of Toronto psychology professor and author of the runaway global bestseller “12 Rules for Life” is scheduled to deliver a presentation at the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC) on Sept. 10.

Jordan B. Peterson.

Durham Mayor Pro Tempore Jillian Johnson issued a statement on behalf of the mayor and the full city council criticizing Peterson for espousing “racist, misogynistic and transphobic views.”

“We wish to emphasize that a person’s right to free speech does not include the right to a platform or an audience,” the statement said, according to a report by The Washington Times. “We believe that Durham is a place for all of us – black, white, Asian, Latina, indigenous, and mixed-race, trans and cis, gay and lesbian, queer, and straight, disabled and able-bodied, young and elderly, women, men, and non-binary, native and immigrant, secular and people of faith.

“Those who seek to exclude or deny the humanity of others will find no comfort here.”

Peterson slammed the Durham officials’ statement for its “brutal mishmash of self-righteousness, indignation and utter moral and political confusion.”

“ ‘Racist, misogynistic and transphobic views…’ That’s quite the evil triad,’ ” Peterson said. “I’m a racist and I hate women (or disapprove of them, or something of that sort). I’ll ignore ‘transphobic’ as it’s a word I despise, although trans people are welcome to go to hell in a handbasket or ascend to heaven in their own particular manner, as far as I am concerned, as long as those of them who are activists keep their damned mitts off the rights and responsibilities I bear in relationship to my words.”

Peterson continued: “Note as well (and this is also of primary import): this statement is not written merely to denounce me. No: it’s written to denounce everyone who has the temerity to buy a ticket to this event. If my views are ‘racist, misogynistic and transphobic’ then clearly everyone who wants to hear me express them is deplorable in the same manner.”

Peterson also criticized the city council for saying he was “invited” by the performing arts center when, in fact, he rented out the space.

“Without the allegation of ‘invitation’ there is no one to cast into disrepute,” he said. “And that leads us to the betrayal, which is the purposeful and motivated casting of aspersions on the character of the people who run the DPAC, who are in any case directly or indirectly under the supervision or jurisdiction of the mayor and councilors. So the perpetrators have been identified.

“It’s so interesting in a very dark and terrible way to observe this happening. Why? Because it’s a great example of the tendency of radicals to devour their own,” Peterson said.

Columnist Caitlin Flanagan noted for The Atlantic: “The left is afraid not of Peterson, but of the ideas he promotes, which are completely inconsistent with identity politics of any kind.”

The Left “has an obvious and pressing need to unperson” Peterson, Flanagan wrote. “What he and the other members of the so-called ‘intellectual dark web’ are offering is kryptonite to identity politics. … There is also the inaccurate belief that he refuses to refer to transgender people by the gendered pronoun conforming to their identity. What he refuses to do is to abide by any laws that could require compelled speech.”

Months after its publication, Peterson’s book was at No. 2 on Publishers’ Weekly nonfiction list in April and holding at No. 1 or 2 in several categories on Amazon. On YouTube, Peterson’s 225 lectures have attracted more than 460,000 subscribers and 30 million views.


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