Jordan Peterson: If The Red Skull Fits!
Jordan Peterson is a transphobic, racist, misogynist bigot. He also has a long, documented history of inspiring lost transphobic, racists, misogynists, bigots and domestic terrorists (mostly men) by providing "guidance" with his "12 Rules for Life." Like most villains, he doesn't see himself as the villain.
At least until now.
Early Tuesday, "Red Skull" began trending on Twitter after a Comicsgate (a hate group and off-shoot of GamerGate) assclown brought the latest issue of Marvel Comics "Captain America" to Peterson's attention, causing the lobster overlord of incels to Streisand Effect this:
What the hell? https://t.co/CGkuztpEjq— Dr Jordan B Peterson (@Dr Jordan B Peterson)1617680703.0
Then, rather than reflecting on why his ideology can easily fit into the ideology of the literal super Nazi Red Skull, Peterson posted another panel from the book explaining exactly the damage he has caused to society.
Do I really live in a universe where Ta-Nehisi Coates has written a Captain America comic featuring a parody of my… https://t.co/CJeeGnc5NA— Dr Jordan B Peterson (@Dr Jordan B Peterson)1617682963.0
I don't know what's worse: the fact he can't see how his ideology can easily be parodied for a villain or the fact he's mad that it was written by the brilliant Ta-Nehisi Coates, who's been writing "Captain America" for Marvel Comics since 2018. Peterson was soon being shown just how much he and Red Skull had in common.
The Red Skull even has a daughter that used the ideology of her father for her own fame & profit like Peterson!
@renfamous It’s not like the Red Skull also has a crazy daughter who tried to usurp his legacy https://t.co/kSSKKbsaiX— Raul Pudd (@Raul Pudd)1617714252.0
And yet! They're really not taking from this lesson what one would hope.
Instead, much as the Right and the aforementioned ComicsGate crowd has done, they'll whine and bitch about "politics in comics." Of course, this argument proves really hollow when the comics and character they are talking about is Captain America.
"Captain America" was created by Jewish-American comic creators Joe Simon and Jack "King" Kirby (and later brought to prominence by Stan "The Man" Lee when he made him leader of The Avengers in the 60's) and his first issue (though dated March 1941) was on sale on December 1940, a full year before the Pearl Harbor attack, with a cover punching Adolf Hitler in the face.
During Watergate, Captain America resigned his post when he realized an evil conspiracy and organization was led by the president, implied to be Richard Nixon. During the 1980s, Captain America resigned his post another time in opposition to Reagan and actions like the ones we took in Central and South America ...
... and was replaced by a more Reagan-friendly "Captain America" named John Walker (who later became U.S.Agent).
During the early 2000s, Captain America fought terrorism after 9/11, as well as a fictionalized version of the Patriot Act and even dealt with a total takeover of defense and intelligence apparatuses by those who would abuse them. We even learned that the history of Captain America was meant to mirror the atrocities of the Tuskegee syphilis experiments in "Truth: Red, White & Black," which also introduced us to the first African-American Captain America (Isiah Bradley).
Rightwingers, maybe never reading much past the surface, didn't make much of a fuss then. They could have also been soothed because in an alternate comics line, a more George Bush-approved Captain America was taking a stand against our dreaded foe: France.
But to the surprise of no one, the crying about politics in comics, and specifically Captain America, really kicked off during the Obama administration. Fox News and the rightwing outrage machine complained when Ed Brubacker (who created the Winter Soldier) wrote a story of another crazy man pretending to be Captain America and leading followers who thought they were "Taxed Enough Already" into a Party of sorts while the current Captain America at the time (Bucky Barnes) fought this growing hate movement in Captain America #62.
The same outrage machine flipped out when writer Rick Remder made longtime Captain America sidekick The Falcon the newest Captain America in 2015, just about the time Comicsgate and other hate groups would rise on the heels of Gamergate.
After the election of Donald Trump, Nick Spencer wrote a story that brought the return ofSteve Rogers's Captain American and Sam Wilson's Captain America to fight a secret uprising of Nazis in America in 2017. Spencer made the allegory more blatant when he turned the Red Skull into a thinly veiled Trump figure.
Conservatives do this faux outrage while weeping and gnashing their teeth about "cancel culture." Merely a few weeks ago, the announcement of an LGBTQ Captain America-inspired hero drew outrage and homophobic mockery from these same people.
Newsmax host has a meltdown over gay Captain America: "The country's going bananas...He is a gay Captain America, c… https://t.co/LUnIMtZPNs— Jason Campbell (@Jason Campbell)1616075614.0
Jordan Peterson, after publicly drawing the comparison between his ideology and that of a character who has been established as "Hitler but red" for more than 80 years, got the rightwing machine to defend him by the usual bad faith actors and "news sources."
In our upside-down world, Captain America goes around telling Americans that their country is irredeemably racist a… https://t.co/26Y4wDBv0V— Ben Shapiro (@Ben Shapiro)1617717023.0
Maybe it's the fact that all conservatives have is culture wars — now that it's clear they can't govern or fix a pandemic or care about democracy — that makes them focus on politics in art. Maybe it's seeing that the hero that represents the good ideals of America is far from what they are.
Or maybe it's that the road to who they are today was as clear as when Mark Gruenwald wrote about it in 1989:
So much so, that his Captain America storylines could be adapted into a Disney+ show while retaining most of the core of it in adaptation.
Regardless, the question's been asked and answered: Yes. You're the baddies.
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Pop Culture observer & Comics fan. Amateur Movie Reviewer. Political Freelance Writer @wonkette. Marine, Husband & Dad. Opinions are mine only.