Professor Jordan Peterson – one of Canada’s most highly rated and well-respected academics – has been denied a federal grant application.
This is the first time he has been denied a research grant – and the timing points to a disturbing assault on academic freedom and free speech. It appears as if the Trudeau government is punishing Peterson for his political views – a chilling use of government power to enforce political correctness.
Peterson first attracted broad attention when he criticized the Trudeau Liberal’s Bill C-16. The bill included the concepts of “gender identity,” and “gender expression,” in the Canadian Human Rights Code.
One Peterson’s key concerns with the legislation is that someone could be compelled by force of law to use someone’s preferred gender pronouns. Some students wanted to be referred to as “Zhe” and “Zhir” and “They” rather than “Him,” or “Her.”
Peterson has said he will continue using “Him” or “Her” instead, and notes that Bill C-16 could make that a crime. The issue here is “compelled speech,” the idea that someone else can make a demand (in this case demanding that you use their preferred gender pronoun), and if you refuse you could be violating the law – even being considered guilty of a hate crime.
Clearly, that has disturbing implications for free speech.
Of course, Peterson’s advocacy for freedom of speech and his willingness to challenge the politically correct status quo has not gone over well among the social justice warriors who run our campuses and much of our government.
Peterson has been regularly attacked as bigoted, prejudiced, homophobic, and all the other usual attacks used by the far-left to try to silence debate.
Peterson is being punished for freethinking
Jordan Peterson is being punished because he dares to think for himself, rather than regurgitate the politically correct talking points that now dominate academic life.
Keep in mind that Peterson spent six years teaching at Harvard, and according to the National Post, his “h-index” – which measures the quality of researchers – is considered better than outstanding. A great score is 40, while Peterson’s score is 49.
So, Peterson certainly has tremendous credibility, and again, it must be pointed out that he was never rejected for a federal research grant until now – after he started challenging political correctness.
Political correctness is destroying academic freedom
Political correctness is an increasingly malicious force in our society. It blinds us from the truth, it silences debate, and it exhibits fascist-like characteristics – creating a climate of fear enforced by powerful thought police.
It is a tremendous irony that universities are now the bastions of political correctness, as they used to be the places where free thought and open debate were most welcome.
Peterson’s grant rejection, and the disturbing spread of political correctness across our country and the Western world, is a sign that freedom of speech and freedom of thought face a threat far graver than many of us imagined. Those in power are using every tool at their disposal – particularly legal and financial threats – to silence any opposition to the imposition of their dangerous ideology.
Protecting academic freedom is incredibly important, because many of our future leaders will come from the same universities that are now being crushed under the weight of the politically correct agenda. If they are blocked from hearing alternative voices on campus, they will very likely impose the same coercive and rigid conformity that the politically correct elite are imposing on them.
We can already see this happening in the Trudeau government, who govern as if they are running for a university student council election, throwing out buzzwords, feel-good tweets, and motions that suppress free speech and free thought. Our freedoms are being slowly eroded by a social justice warrior government, and if the trends don’t change then things will only get worse.
That’s why people like Jordan Peterson, who are willing to speak up and stand up for free speech even at a professional cost to themselves, are incredibly important voices in our society.
The age-old struggle between individual freedom and collectivism continues, and if the collectivists can punish someone as highly rated and highly respected as Jordan Peterson, they can punish any of us.
We all need to wake up and realize free speech and free thought cannot be taken for granted, and we need to confront and defeat any government that uses threats and coercion to impose political correctness.
Photo – YouTube screengrab