After releasing a series of videos on political correctness, Jordan Peterson faced a firestorm of backlash
At the end of September, I released three videos on political correctness (available at Jordan Peterson Videos on YouTube). The first of these decried recent legislative moves in Canada to include protection for “gender identity” and “gender expression” in the Canada Human Rights Act and the criminal code (similar legislation exists already in the majority of Canadian provinces), and indicating my refusal to use the now apparently required “gender neutral” pronouns demanded by such laws.
In the second video, I stated my opposition to the University of Toronto Human Resources and Equity department’s mandatory “anti-racism and anti-bias” training for its departmental employees, and criticised its alliance with the so-called Black Liberation Collective, an organisation which believes that “nonviolence is a tactic”, that “this is not the only way to dismantle the system” and which will “strive for liberation by any means necessary, including but not limited to: armed self-defence”. In the third video, I laid out the rules for what I call the “PC Game”, in which resentment and hate masquerade as victim-oriented compassion.
I also formulated some initial tactics and strategies for dealing with the PC Game, and developed some stickers that could be placed on the PC propaganda posters prevalent on university campuses.
These videos ignited a firestorm of controversy, which has been major news in Canada now for a month. Canada’s national newspapers ran opinion columns. I took part in a televised debate that has attracted 100,000 online viewers.
Two demonstrations were held at the University of Toronto. The second, a student-organised free speech rally, was marred by counter-protestor misbehaviour, including the use of amplified white noise and chanting to drown out the speakers (anyone was free, at one point, to use the mike).
A female journalist, Lauren Southern, was assaulted at the rally. Videos documenting that have gone viral online, with the most watched obtaining 400,000 views. This is by no means a complete documentation of the coverage, and the issue does not seem to be dying down.
The University of Toronto wrote me two warning letters, also documented at Jordan Peterson Videos, telling me to ensure that my behaviour complied with recent university policies (while conveniently ignoring its much older Statement on Freedom of Speech policy), and reminding me that I may have been breaking the law merely by making my videos (which was exactly something I was warning my viewers about).
To its credit, the University of Toronto has agreed to host a public debate on the issues I raised. We are currently negotiating how to do just that.
Political correctness has become a force of sufficient strength to pose a threat to the structure of our society. It is primarily a product of university-educated leftist radicals, who demand the adjustment of our institutions, speech and thoughts to their radical-egalitarian and censorious agenda. Anyone who speaks out against their principles and aims becomes a target of mob action, accused of racism and worse.
Universities in the US are now even organising thought police, in the form of “Bias Response Teams”, which will report on and conduct “impact assessments” when a “bias incident” (which can be “intentional or unintentional”) occurs.
This has gone too far. It must be stopped, before it can’t be.
This article first appeared in the October 28 2016 issue of The Catholic Herald. To read the magazine in full, from anywhere in the world, go here