Toronto prof assailed over anti-PC campaign: pushes back by urging students to join
TORONTO, October 6, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – University of Toronto psychology professor Jordan Peterson is offering booklets of anti-political correctness stickers for $12.95 each to students and staff who will put them on posters that promote politically correct values of his colleagues and the university.
Peterson made his offer this week in the third of a series of YouTube videos attacking political correctness in government, academia and university human rights policy, which he sees as a left wing attack on personal and intellectual freedom. Though his first two videos triggered criticism from other academics and LGBT groups and disclaimers from the university, Peterson has pushed ahead and asked supporters to join him in the “anti-PC” sticker counterattack.
“Do it again, and then again and then again,” he urges. “Do it for years.”
Peterson, a renowned and popular instructor, and author of Maps of Meaning, the Architecture was spurred into action by a new program launched by the University of Toronto’s human resources department mandating that all of its staff members take a six-part diversity training program aimed at stamping out biases whether conscious or unconscious based on age, race, religion, gender, sex, sexuality, etc.
Peterson also calls out the Ontario government and the Ontario Human Rights Commission for promoting a “totalitarian” and “Marxist” ideology of gender theory, even though, he said in his first video, it might land him in jail. “If someone can be put in jail for questioning that [gender ideology], then I guess I should be put in jail,” he said, “because I’m going to continue to question it.”
In his second video, he includes fellow academics in his denunciation, especially women’s studies departments at universities across North America and Europe, for pushing the “victimhood” of groups as a serious category of study, and the entire field of sociology for providing bogus evidence for victimhood. Sociology, he says, is totally “corrupted.”
In the second video, he lays out how what he calls “the political correctness game” is played. He says it is taught to all students “as an alternative to thought.” Its promoters, such as feminists, LGBT advocates, and liberals in general, he explains, identify those who are less successful at any human endeavour and brand them as “losers” based not on lack of ability but “because they are oppressed by the winners.” They then target the winners as villains while wrapping themselves in “moral superiority” and campaign for redressing the outcomes so the losers get their “fair” share.
Political correctness makes its practitioners feel better about themselves and better than other people without their actually working or producing anything of value, Peterson argues. How it works in women’s studies and gender studies departments, he says, is students are trained as activists to infiltrate and rise in every kind of institution, forging a “positive feedback loop” that constantly feeds and reinforces itself from above and below.
Peterson also attacked the academic and professional credentials of the people hired by the University of Toronto human resources department to teach what he calls their “indoctrination” course. Attempts to change the way people think and behave are fraught with peril and carry the real risk of producing the opposite result to what was intended.
Compulsory courses intended to weed out biases against certain groups “very likely” will trigger resentment, he warned, implying that the identified “victim” minorities might be the target of this resentment. Peterson contended that there is no scientific evidence that such courses work or that enough prejudice exists in the university’s human resources department to merit spending money on trying to eliminate prejudice, rather than on any other problem or need.
He urged all human resources employees to refuse to take the course because to accept it would be to admit the premise that one is badly biased.
Reaction to Peterson as recorded by the Varsity student paper has been largely negative. Several groups and individuals have accused him of denying the existence of so-called "non-binary people" (who claim their gender is neither male nor female), which he denies. Physics professor A. W. Peet told the Varsity, “It doesn’t really matter whether he thinks we exist or not because we do. I just wanted to say, ‘Excuse me, I exist. I’m non-binary and I’m also a full professor with the University of Toronto with tenure.”
Ronald de Sousa, emeritus professor of philosophy, an old sparring-mate in formal sacred-versus-secular debates, countered Peterson with a 30-minute YouTube lecture of his own, taking him to task for “Your apparent ignorance of the vast literature attesting to the reality and the diversity of non-standard forms of sex, gender, and sexual expression and orientation,” and for “recklessly” throwing around terms such as “Marxist” and “the left” without explanation, and as if their mere mention is enough to “disqualify” people or groups.
The university released a statement declaring, “We want to make sure that everyone here in our community feels respected and welcome and supported and we expect all members of our community, including Professor Peterson [to] comply with U of T’s policies and guidelines” and ensure that “students have a learning environment free from discrimination and harassment on any of the prohibited grounds of the Ontario Human Rights Code.”
Peterson expressed regret that some colleagues have told him that they will not join him in his fight because the personal risk to their careers far outweighs any success they could hope to achieve against political correctness. This response, he says, “scares me.”
Peterson himself seems to be banking on appealing to young people’s appetite for games and subversive activities. Opening his third video — on tactics — as if pitching a product on a children’s TV show, he addresses himself to “boys and girls and other interested parties.”
He urges students to buy his stickers, which show the letters “PC” with an oblique stroke through them, and stealthily affix them to the politically correct posters that abound in university corridors while they “whistle nonchalantly” to throw off suspicions. He encourages his followers to limit themselves to one sticker per poster and to place the sticker in an unobtrusive place so as to leave the offensively politically correct message free. “Be careful and tough and awake and all the good things you should be if you are a good and well functioning individual.”
The University of Toronto did not respond to LifeSiteNews’ request for an interview.
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