Jordan Peterson Shocked, Shocked To Find Anti-Semitism Is Going On In His Establishment!
Jordan Peterson has made a career out of coddling the seething anger of young white men who desperately want to be able to not only go around saying horrible things and insulting people with impunity, but also to be told they are wonderful and special for doing so. He first rose to fame by going ballistic over his bosses at the University of Toronto requiring that professors refer to students and fellow employees by their preferred pronouns -- which he claimed was "compelled speech" -- and claiming that Canada, by including trans people as a protected category in the Canadian Human Rights Act, was going to throw him in jail for using the pronouns he preferred to use for people he talked to.
He has not, thus far, been thrown in jail for being a rude jackass.
He has, however, made a LOT of money. He earns this money by giving speeches, writing books and doing YouTube videos about how white privilege is a lie meant to make them feel bad for no good reason, about "cultural Marxism," and about "identity politics." This has made him very popular among a certain segment of people. He upset that certain segment this week when he criticized their holy practice of putting three brackets around the names of people who are Jewish (or whom they believe are Jewish), and suggested that by normalizing anti-Semitism, they contributed to the radicalization of the man who bombed the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.
And he sure got responses!
Just pointing out here that no one was preventing this guy from talking to people who wanted to talk to him. No one was preventing him from posting on Gab. The idea that we should all be forced to listen to the rantings of an anti-Semitic lunatic because otherwise he might have to kill 11 people is completely fucking ridiculous. Billions of people made it through life prior to the internet without having a massive platform to spread their personal views, and somehow managed to not kill anyone over it.
In fairness, "it's not clever to be anti-Semitic, cut the shit" goes against literally everything Peterson has told them over the last few years -- most particularly the sentiment that they should never, ever have to consider how something hateful they might want to do or say could affect others. In fairness, the "cultural Marxism" he rails against began as an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory about shadowy Jewish intellectuals seeking to undermine the United States by convincing people who are oppressed they shouldn't like being oppressed. It is, actually, still that. Peterson has basically been doing family-friendly cover versions of Pat Buchanan's Greatest Hits, repackaging them for the masses of today, and the people who know the original songs recognized them for what they were.
Is Jordan Peterson actually so stupid that he doesn't know who and what his words and sentiments inspire? It's possible, but it's also unlikely. He pretended to not know the difference between having one's free speech oppressed and not being able to be a jackass at work, he pretended as if people saying "Hey, that is a shitty thing to say" was tantamount to government suppression of speech when it never was, as if white men were being oppressed by the mere discussion of other people's oppression or the acknowledgement that it is a lot easier to go through life not being a member of a group that has been systemically oppressed over hundreds of years. Who did he think he was going to attract with that? Does he think his fans are only hanging out around him because it's so exciting when he tells them to clean their rooms?
No, they're looking to be told "It is OK that you are an asshole and it is bad for anyone to not like you because of that, or to criticize anything you do or say."
Peterson was not the only conservative this week to discover that his fan base was, in fact, actually made up of assholes. Matt Drudge had a moment of clarity in which he somehow realized that maybe it was bad for people on Fox News to be giggling and laughing during a segment about political terrorism. His people were not happy either.
Will Peterson or Drudge have a sudden epiphany in which they realize that this is the kind of shit that they, personally, have been encouraging all along, that they are the Frankensteins to these empathy-free monsters, and that they should maybe just stop being the worst? Nah. They will not. Too much money in being Frankenstein to stop.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse