Jordan Peterson is facing persecution for not using trendy buzzwords left-wing activists want to force upon him.
The University of Toronto professor recently announced he won’t use gender neutral pronouns like “zer” and “zhe” to describe students, should they request it.
We don’t care whether he does or doesn’t.
This so-called “gender neutral pronoun” debate speaks to a very small minority of people. It’s just not a big deal.
But what does concern us is the vilification and bullying Peterson’s been subjected to for refusing to follow the rules of the game suddenly thrust upon him by far-left activists.
He’s also received letters of censure from the University of Toronto.
Protesters have tried — loudly and aggressively — to shut down his public speeches.
Someone even poured glue in his office door, so he couldn’t get in.
Peterson is being bullied, by his employer and some colleagues and students.
Everyone should be concerned because what’s happening here will set a precedent.
If it isn’t confronted now for the attack on free speech that it is, it will spread like wildfire to other institutions.
One argument made against Peterson is that he stands to violate human rights laws.
Another is that by his refusal to use activist buzzwords, he is abusing students and causing them harm.
There’s no other way to say it: These arguments are nuts.
The real issue here is that fringe academics and left-wing political activists are trying to use institutions to force people to change our very language, under the threat of censure and punishment if they don’t comply.
Forcing people to change the way they speak is the beginning of a process to censor the way they think.
As Peterson has pointed out, this is what totalitarian states do.
The university administration is failing its faculty and students, as well as alumni and taxpayers who financially support the university.
The duty of that administration is, or should be, to defend freedom of speech and to encourage open and honest discussion and debate, even on difficult subjects.
Instead it’s done the exact opposite by backing activist bullies who want to silence a professor for his ideas.
We all need to stand with Peterson to make sure this rot doesn’t spread further.