Clinical psychologist and best-selling author Jordan B. Peterson is beating back character assassination on the part of city authorities in Durham, North Carolina. In advance of a scheduled September 10 appearance by Peterson, Mayor Pro Tempore Jillian Johnson issued a statement on behalf of the mayor and the city council that mischaracterized the respected academic for his supposedly “racist, misogynistic and transphobic views.”
Peterson is the author of the best-selling “12 Rules for Life: An Antidote for Chaos,” among other works. He is a widely featured speaker who has become a hit, especially aong men, on YouTube.
“We wish to emphasize that a person’s right to free speech does not include the right to a platform or an audience,” read the official statement. “As many in our community have been disturbed and angered by Mr. Peterson’s racist, misogynist, and transphobic views, we would like to use this opportunity to reiterate our commitments and values to all of you as your elected representatives.
“We believe that Durham is a place for all of us — black, white, Asian, Latinx, 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,” the statement read. “Those who seek to exclude or deny the humanity of others will find no comfort here.”
Writing on Sunday in response to Durham officials, Peterson declared, “‘Racist, misogynistic and transphobic views…’ That’s quite the evil triad.” He continued, “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 goes on to say, “Note as well (and this is also of primary import): this statement is not written merely to denounce me.” He wrote, “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.” Noting that the officials provided no evidence to sustain their claims against him, Peterson wrote that contrary to claims made by Durham officials, he was not invited to the venue in Durham while, in fact, he rented the venue.
“Without the allegation of ‘invitation’ there is no one to cast into disrepute,” he wrote. “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 [Durham Performing Arts Center], 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 is scheduled to appear on Sept. 10 at 7:30 p.m. local time at the Durham Performing Arts Center.
Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.