Jordan Peterson Fears He is the Next Victim of the “Woke Mob”
Jordan Peterson, a University of Toronto psychology professor and bestselling author, appealed a ruling from the College of Psychologists of Ontario that ordered him to undergo “social media training” after he posted his opinion on issues online.
Why is Peterson being “sentenced” to social media training? Let’s get into it and what he is doing to push back against the ruling.
Jordan Peterson Is In Opposition for “Woke” Subjects
Peterson posted online his beliefs, which include his opposition to the “climate change” hysteria, the use of gender pronouns, gender change, and other “woke” subjects. Peterson, who was battling it out with the courts over free speech, says that his “sin” was “Tweeting opinions the college deemed ‘unbecoming of a psychologist.’”
An appeals court dismissed Peterson’s petition and ordered him to undergo mandatory social media training.
Peterson’s Most Notable Offense
In 2022, a suspension from X, formerly known as Twitter, landed on a psychologist who had criticized transgender actor Elliot Page. Peterson believes that the goal of the board was to “take his license.”
The academic board is “making an example of me,” Peterson told “Fox & Friends,” and believes that the board’s goal is to take his license.
Peterson Might Have His License to Practice Taken Away
The psychologist wrote on X (via CBC): “I am likely to soon lose my license to practice as a clinical psychologist in my home province of Ontario, in Canada whose historically prosaic internal politics should by all reasonable standards still be off the international radar.”
Peterson continued, writing: “It’s capitulate to the petty bureaucrats and the addle-pated woke mob or lose my professional license.”
The College’s Investigation Into Peterson
Last year, several complaints about statements Peterson made on X prompted the college to launch an investigation. The complaints focused on tweets that Peterson made about public health restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Another complaint focused on his appearance on the “Joe Rogan Experience” podcast. Several other tweets were brought up during the investigation.
The Panel’s Decision About Peterson
The panel followed up on the concerns, noting particular concerns with a series of statements that criticize women, transgender people, body size, and the masculinity of political members.
After the review, the panel came to the decision that Peterson’s conduct “poses moderate risks to the public,” which includes the potential of “undermining public trust in the profession of psychology, and trust in the college’s ability to regulate the profession in the public interest.”
Social Media Training Won’t Change Peterson
On “Fox & Friends,” Peterson said he was doubtful that social media training would change things for him. “I’m in their hands at the moment fundamentally because they’ve already sentenced me, so to speak, to an indefinite period of social media retraining, with some social media expert, whatever the hell that is,” Peterson said.
“So I’m obliged to undertake that training, at my own expense, for an indefinite period of time until they in their wisdom presume that I’ve learned whatever it is I’m supposed to learn,” Peterson said. “Which, given my nature, strikes me as highly unlikely.”
Freedom of Expression Advocate Support Peterson
Peterson’s case has raised the question of freedom of expression and whether the college is overstepping its authority by penalizing controversial individuals for sharing their opinions.
Peterson’s ongoing battle with the college has made him a sort of martyr among the freedom of expression advocates. Public figures like Conservative Party Leader Pierre Poilievre and Tesla and X CEO Elon Musk.
Those Who Don’t Support Peterson’s Comments Have Something to Say
Despite widespread opposition to Jordan Peterson’s social media post, James Turk, director of the Centre for Free Expression at Toronto Metropolitan University, voiced his deep concern over the college’s response.
“There’s no reason whatsoever for the College of Psychologists to try to stop him from expressing those views,” Turk tells CBC.
Do Colleges Have the Right to Silence Speech?
What Turk finds the most worrisome is that “a democratic society” feels like it “has a right to censor political speech of all the members over whom it has regulatory authority.”
According to the U.S. State Department’s 2020 Report on International Religious Freedom, Canada’s “constitution guarantees freedom of conscience, religion, thought, belief, opinion, expression, and the right to equal protection and benefit of the law without discrimination based on religion.”
The College Says Peterson Doesn’t Meet Its Professional Standards
The panel says that Peterson has a right to freedom of expression. However, Peterson’s comments did not meet their professional standards, and reflected poorly on the college.
The panel concludes that Peterson’s comments “raise questions about Dr. Peterson’s ability to carry out his responsibilities as a psychologist’ and “may be engaging in degrading, demeaning and unprofessional comments.”
Who Is in the Right?
Peterson writes in his book, “12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos,” “Speak your mind. Put your desires forward, as if you had a right to them—at least the same right as others.” However, does freedom of speech have consequences in the workplace?
The internet grants everyone a platform for their opinions, but is it the optimal venue for expressing them? Let us know what you think!